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7^.I^8A3./n3)/4/? r )4 

94th Congress "1 
2d Session J 



[Second Edition] 

Prepared by the 

At the Request of 

Hestky M. Jackson, Chairman 








Printed for the use of the 
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs 

*** * ** ** , 

65-675 O 



HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington, Chairman 






Grbnville Garside, Special Counsel and Staff Director 

Daniel A. Dreyfus, Deputy Staff Director for Legislation 

William J. Van Ness, Chief Counsel 

D. Michael Harvey, Deputy Chief Counsel 

Merrill W. Englund, Special Committee Assistant for Outer Continental Shelf 

Harrison Loesch, Minority Counsel 



To Members of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee: 

The question of who owns, or is responsible for, the two-thirds of 
the earth, which lies under the oceans, has concerned me since 1969 
when I appointed Senator Lee Metcalf to head a Special Subcom- 
mittee on the Outer Continental Shelf. 

Since then, the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs has held 
hearings on the general subject and on specific legislation. We also 
have monitored the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of 
the Sea and its preparatory meetings. As Chairman of the Subcom- 
mittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels, Senator Metcalf has con- 
tinued to provide constructive leadership. 

We share a sense of urgency about a source of minerals from the 
oceans — minerals basic to our economy — minerals which now come 
almost exclusively from foreign sources — minerals which we can dis- 
cover and have a right to develop under existing international law and 
with due regard to the other uses of the oceans. 

There is increasing pressure by many nations for stringent limita- 
tions on access to raw materials lying within their borders and in- 
creased prices for those raw materials which are made available to 
industrial nations. These nations call these policies steps to a "new 
economic order." We call them cartels. 

Some of these minerals are contained in the manganese nodules 
which literally pave the ocean floor in many parts of the world. With 
increased public awareness of the importance of the nodules as our 
mineral supply came also a need for what I would call a primer. In 
1975, I asked the Congressional Research Service of the Library of 
Congress for such a document. The Committee print of that report 
was widely circulated and is now out of print. 

The second edition of that report, updated by the Congressional 
Research Service, follows. I commend it to the attention of those 
interested in this vital and complex subject. 

Henry M. Jackson, Chairman. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


The Library or Congress, 


Washington, B.C., January 20, 1976. 
Hon. Lee Metcalf, 

Chairman, Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels, Commit- 
tee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, B.C. 

Dear Sexator Metcalf : In response to your request, I am submit- 
ting an updated version of the primer on manganese nodules pub- 
lished in June 1975. 

This report, titled "Ocean Manganese Xodules, Second Edition," 
reflects recent events and the issues brought out in the October and 
November hearings of your committee and ties them into the past 
record. The primer is intended to serve as a background report on 
deep seabed mining covering such topics as location of manganese 
nodule deposits, site evaluation, technology of mining nodules, eco- 
nomic implications, commercial interests, government activities, for- 
eign activities and legislative history. As the outcome of the Third 
U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea is not yet clear and several 
hurdles with regard to deep seabed mining remain to be cleared, possi- 
ble treaty implications to the United States are also considered. 

This report was prepared by Dr. James E. Mielke, Analyst in 
Marine and Earth Sciences of the Science Policy Eesearch Division. 

We hope this report serves your committee's needs as well as those 
of other Members of the House and Senate in the consideration of in- 
terim domestic legislation to encourage and regulate deep seabed min- 
ing until an acceptable Law of the Sea treaty is attained. 

Norman Beckmax, Acting Director. 



[Second Edition] 

Prepared by 

James E. Mielke 

Science Policy Research Division 
Congressional Research Service 

Library of Congress 

at the Request of 

Henry M. Jackson, Chairman 

Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs 
United States Senate 

February 1976 



Memorandum of the Chairman in 

Letter of transmittal v 

Summary xin 

I. Introduction 1 

II. Composition, formation, and distribution of manganese nodules 3 

Shape 3 

Surface texture 4 

Structure 4 

Composition 5 

Elemental composition 5 

Mineralogy 6 

Formation of manganese nodules 6 

Biological origins 6 

Inorganic origins . 7 

Geographical distribution 7 

North Pacific Ocean 11 

South Pacific Ocean 12 

North Atlantic Ocean 12 

South Atlantic Ocean 12 

Indian Ocean 12 

III. Mining : Site selection, technology and processing 13 

Mine site selection 13 

Nodule mining technology 15 

Air-lift pumping 15 

Hydraulic lift 18 

Mechanical lift 18 

Nodule processing technology 20 

Hydrochlorination 21 

Sulfur dioxide roasting and water leaching 22 

Ammoniacal leaching 23 

Sulfuric acid leaching 24 

Smelting 25 

IV. Environmental concerns 27 

Previous research 27 

Specific effects 27 

Repopulation 27 

Transplantation 28 

Surface water contamination 28 

Pollution from shipboard processing 29 

Common effects 29 

Findings and further investigations 29 

Impacts of alternative sources 30 

V. Mining interests and economics 31 

U.S. mining interests 31 

The Howard Hughes enigma 32 

International consortia 35 

Foreign interests 37 

Problems in determining the economic impact of nodule 

mining 38 

Establishing: an international authority 38 

Size of operation 38 

Metal production per ton of nodules 39 

Timing of nodule operations 40 

Economic impact of nodule mining 41 

Nickel 48 

Copper 50 

Manganese 51 

Cobalt 53 

Loag-term economic prospects of nodule mining 55 


VI. Government activities 

United States 

Foreign government activities 


Federal Republic of Germany 



New Zealand 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 

United Kingdom 


VII. Legislative history 

Confronting the issues 

Legislative concern in the 90th Congress 

Legislative concern in the 91st Congress 

Legislative concern in the 92d Congress 

Legislative concern in the 93d Congress 

The first session 

The second session 

Legislative concern in the 94th Congress 

VIII. International considerations 

Possible cartel action 

United Nations activities and relations 

Nodule surveys 

First and second Law of the Sea Conferences. 

U.N. relations and the third Law of the Sea Conference. 



Possible treaty implications 101 


A. Letter from Charles N. Brower of the State Department to Senator 

Henry M. Jackson 105 

B. Letter from Representative Thomas N. Downing and Senator Lee 

Metcalf to Secretary of Commerce Frederick B. Dent 111 

C. Letter from Secretary Frederick B. Dent to Senate Lee Metcalf 115 

D. S. 713 119 

E. Deepsea Ventures, Inc. : Notice of discovery and claim of exclusive 

mining rights, and request for diplomatic protection and protection of 
investment 147 

F. U.S. Department of State: Statement on claim of exclusive mining 

rights by Deepsea Ventures, Inc 161 


1. Nodules recovered during trial mining operations in the Atlantic 

Ocean in 1970 4 

2. Nodule frequency versus depth in sediment 9 

3. Nodule deposits in the North Pacific 10 

4. Nodule deposits in the South Pacific 10 

5. Nodule deposits in the North Atlantic 11 

6. Nodule deposits in the South Atlantic and Western Indian Oceans 11 

7. Offshore exploration of nodules 14 

8. Three systems proposed for mining nodules 16 

9. Research Vessel Deepsea Miner 17 

10. Continuous Line Bucket System for deep ocean nodule mining—. 19 

11. Hydrochloric acid process 22 

12. Ammonia leach process 23 

13. Sulfuric acid process 24 

14. Figure from patent issued to Global Marine, Inc 34 

15. U.S. demand for minerals supplied by imports in 1974 50 



1. Projected U.S. consumption and percent of imports satisfied by nodule Page 

mining operations by 1985 and 2000 — xvi 

2. Element analyses of Pacific manganese nodules 5 

3. Average analyses of manganese nodules 12 

4. Comparison of 3 and 4 metal production from nodules 21 

5. Estimated metal production per million tons of high grade nodules 39 

6. Estimated 1985 recovery of metals by U.S. deep-ocean mining enter- 

prises, and value at 1973 prices 40 

7. Manganese nodules : commercially attractive constituents projections 

for future demand 42 

8. Projected market value of U.S. production of metals from manganese 

nodules in 1985 and 2000 43 

9. Probable metals production from nodules and estimated net import re- 

quirements of industrial countries in 1985 44 

10. Approximate 1971 value of mineral production 45 

11. Approximate value of mineral production, Group of 77 versus other 

countries 45 

12. Participation in nodule mining consortia by U.S. firms and estimated 

nodule recovery by 1985 46 

13. Projected U.S. consumption and percent of imports satisfied by nodule 

mining operations in 1985 and 2000 47 

14. Nickel : World mine production and reserves 49 

15. Copper: World mine production and reserves 51 

16. Manganese: Stockpile status November 30, 1975 52 

17. Manganese: World mine production and reserves 53 

18. Cobalt: World mine production and reserves 54 

19. Reserves of metals in manganese nodules of the Pacific Ocean 56 

20. Changing import requirements of the United States 79 

21. Functions of the Ocean Mining Administration 85 


Ferromanganese nodules x are potato-shaped concretions found on 
the floor of the ocean throughout many parts of the world. In some 
areas, the ocean floor is literally paved with nodules. The Pacific Ocean 
alone is estimated to contain 1.5 trillion tons of nodules which are 
forming at the rate of about 10 million tons per year. There are about 
25 factors involved in the process to determine the economic value of 
a potentially mineable deposit of manganese nodules. Of these factors, 
the grade of the nodules, particularly their copper, nickel, manganese, 
and cobalt content, is the most important. The deposits of the Pacific 
Ocean, found in an east-west belt 200 kilometers wide south of Hawaii, 
in water deeper than 4,000 meters, hold the greatest economic promise 
at the present time. 

Technology for mining and processing ferromanganese nodules is 
complex, and several methods are being developed. Three basic nodule 
recovery systems are under investigation : (1) mechanical, cable-bucket 
systems, (2) air-lift pumping, and (3) hydraulic lift without air. 
Processing ferromanganese nodules is much more difficult than proc- 
essing oxide or sulfide land ores. Most of the methods being developed 
involve complex roasting and leaching techniques. 

The impact of nodule mining on the deep ocean environment has been 
a concern expressed by many individuals. Research is underway to 
assess the extent of this impact on the biota of the deep ocean and on 
the quality of the surface water. Chemical and biological observations 
have been carried out using prototype mining systems. Results to date 
indicate that the environmental impact of deep ocean mining is negli- 
gible, far less than natural disturbances such as turbidity currents. 

Exploration for, and development of technology for recovering, 
manganese nodules from the deep seabed have been underway for more 
than a decade. Several countries including the United States, Great 
Britain, France, West Germany, Japan, Canada, and the Soviet Union 
have interests in deepsea mining. U.S. firms have lead positions in this 
field but are hesitant to proceed to commercial exploitation without 
some guarantee of security for their projected large investments of $300 
to $500 million for each mine site. Since 1971, bills have been intro- 
duced in Congress to provide some form of investment guarantee and 
regulation of mining activities. Initially, these bills represented solely 
the views of the American Mining Congress and were sponsored in the 
House and Senate for discussion purposes. Xo action was recommended 
by the Administration for fear of prejudicing the outcome of discus- 
sions in the United Nations with regard to a future conference on the 
Law of the Sea. As progress in the United Nations appeared minimal. 
and U.S. congressional hearings brought out other considerations, the 
deep seabed mining legislation was redrafted to provide necessary 
regulation and investment security, while allowing the Third U.X. Law 

1 The terms "ferromanganese nodules," "manganese nodules" and "Iron-manganese nod- 
ules" are used Interchangeably. 



of the Sea Conference adequate time to produce a seabed treaty before 
commercial exploitation by U.S. nationals would be permitted. 

In the meantime, most U.S. firms interested in seabed mining have 
joined international consortia as a means of gaining investment secu- 
rity, risk sharing, and pooling financial resources. They argue that in 
the absence of international law restricting deep seabed exploitation, 
they have the right to mine nodules in international waters. The De- 
partment of State supports this view. Obviously, the more countries 
or parties jointly engaged in such activities, the less likelihood there 
would be of claim- jumping or other conflicts. 

The United States is heavily dependent on the metals contained in 
manganese nodules, primarily nickel, copper, manganese, and cobalt. 
There is no domestic mine production of manganese and cobalt, and 
domestic nickel production supplies less than 10 percent of our needs. 
In addition, nickel and copper are not currently stockpiled by the 
government. While the United States is a major copper producer, in 
1974 nearly 20 percent of the copper consumed in the United States 
was imported. The reliability of foreign sources and the possibility of 
cartel action are subjects of grave concern. In this regard, the pos- 
sibility that a vast resource of these metals could become available to 
the United States through the operations of U.S. nationals while at the 
same time respecting the rights of all nations to the "common heritage 
of mankind" is a matter that bears serious legislative consideration. 

The majority of nations represented at the Third U.N. Law of the 
Sea Conference are from developing countries whose interests are 
markedly dissimilar to those of the United States and other tech- 
nologically advanced countries. This has been amply demonstrated in 
the negotiations of the former Seabed Committee (now Committee I 
of the Conference) by the position taken by the developing countries 
and by their formation of a common negotiating bloc called the Group 
of 77 (now 106 countries). This group, representing approximately 
two thirds of the voting delegates, generally favors a form of strong 
international control of seabed exploitation that is unacceptable to the 
United States. The Seabed Authority envisioned by the Group of 77 
would be effectively controlled by the developing countries (one coun- 
try, one vote), and would exercise arbitrary power over seabed devel- 
opment. This would be accomplished by permitting mining only by 
the Authority or, initially, through contract arrangements under which 
the Authority would maintain direct and complete control of all 
mining operations. 

The U.S. position at the Third U.N. Law of the Sea Conference 
favors a seabed mining authority that would permit quali- 
fied countries and private entities on a nondiscriminatory basis to mine 
areas of the seabed. The whole system for pranting rights would be 
structured in the treatv to be economically efficient and to attract and 
guarantee security of investment. Faced with the prospects of little 
substantive progress toward attaining an acceptable treaty, the Admin- 
istration has recently begun drafting legislation to regulate domestic 
firms who engage in deep seabed mining. This legislation would also 


delay commercial exploitation to allow the U.N. Law of the Sea Con- 
ference additional time to reach an agreement. In further anticipation 
of deep ocean mining by U.S. citizens, an Ocean Mining Administra- 
tion has been established in the Department of the Interior and an 
Office of Marine Minerals in the Department of Commerce. It is 
anticipated that commercial mining of the deep seabed for manganese 
nodules will probably begin by 1980, and that U.S. firms will be 

Based on recent information regarding participation by U.S. firms 
and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign interests in international consortia, 
projections can be made of the benefit to the United States from nodule 
mining operations by 1985 and 2000. The total annual tonnage of 
nodules likely to be processed and marketed by U.S. interests by 1985 
could range from 4.5 to 6 million tons. This projection assumes that 
present difficulties regarding the entry of U.S. firms into commercial 
operations are resolved within the next year. This estimated recovery 
is based on only those firms which have announced plans for commer- 
cial operations and does not include members of the CLB Group 2 
which was formed for exploration and systems development only. 

Using the estimated nodule recovery of 5 million tons and exten- 
sions of U.S. Bureau of Mines projections of annual increases in do- 
mestic demand for the metals contained in nodules, the percent of 
imports and percent of U.S. consumption satisfied by U.S. controlled 
nodule mining operations by 1985 can be estimated (Table 1) . Imports 
of manganese ore and ferromanganese would not likely be reduced by 
nodule mining by more than a few percent (the amount of U.S. con- 
sumption of high purity forms of manganese) unless manganese 
from nodules can in the future be marketed at a price competitive with 
high carbon ferromanganese. By 1985 the United States could satisfy 
95 percent of the projected domestic demand for low and medium 
carbon ferromanganese and silieomanganese, and reduce imports of 
nickel approximately 24 percent, reduce copper imports 8.5 percent 
and be essentially self sufficient in cobalt. By 2000 nickel imports could 
be reduced by 31 percent (or further with substitution by cobalt) and 
copper imports by 10.4 percent. These projections assume that the 
present levels of imports to demand would otherwise be maintained 
which may be somewhat questionable, especially in the case of copper 
where the import ratio would likely increase. On the other hand, if 
other U.S. firms enter into commercial scale nodule mining operations, 
imports could be reduced still further. 

Based on 1975 prices, the above projection of nodule mining could 
supply the United States with approximately $0.8 billion per year in 
metals by the year 2000. Nodule mining by other countries or foreign 
shares in consortia could likely total three to five times this amount 
per year by then. 

3 In this study, CLB Group refers only to the consortium organized by Dr. John L. Mero 
of Ocean Resources Inc. Many % members of this group are now participants In 
the consortium recently formed by International Nickel Co. (INCO) which has announced 
intentions to proceed to commercial operations if deemed feasible. Some confusion may arise 
as the INCO consortium has also been referred to as the CLB Group (Oceanography Xcws- 
letter, Apr. 21. 1975). • 



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Manganese nodules were first discovered by the Challenger expedi- 
tion (1873-76) and have engaged the interest of oceanographers ever 
since. With the recent advent of technology capable of extracting min- 
erals from the deep ocean floor, commercial interest is further height- 
ened by growing world-wide demand for metals concentrated in man- 
ganese nodules. Increasing dependence on foreign mineral suppliers 
and the resulting balance of payments deficits are causing concern 
in the United States. In view of the increasing accessibility to exploi- 
tation of these unclaimed seabed riches and international concern for 
the rights and claims of all nations to a share of the world's resources, 
national policies and international conventions for regulating or con- 
trolling the deep seabed resources are being developed. This back- 
ground report on manganese nodules, the technology for recovering 
them, mining interests currently involved, legislative concerns, and 
international negotiations in this area has been prepared as a reference 
tool for further congressional activity in directing a national policy 
for deep seabed mining. 


65-675 O - 76 



Ferromanganese nodules are concretions that occur on the ocean floor 
generally in water deeper than 2,000 meters. There are two dominant 
types of ferromanganese deposits: (1) thick slabs or crusts which 
frequently develop on submarine elevations where current activity 
prevents normal sediment accumulation and provides a continuous 
supply of metals, and (2) nodules which form at great depth around 
nucleii of rock, plant, or animal remains. The encrustations do not 
appear to be economically significant whereas some nodule deposits 
are potentially profitable to mine. Nodules are the most common form 
of seabed iron-manganese concretions. 

Ferromanganese nodules vary widely in shape, composition, surface 
texture, and internal structure. In individual localities the nodules 
are generally similar, but significant variations commonly occur from 
one locality to another. Variations may even be found over the dis- 
tance of a few hundred yards. Knowledge of variations in the com- 
position of the nodules is of importance to mining interests as most 
processing techniques are tailored to a fairly specific and uniform 
ore supply. Furthermore, some hydraulic mining techniques are de- 
signed to recover nodules within only a limited size range. 


Nodules look like little black potatoes ranging in size from 1 to 15 
centimeters (cm) in diameter and average about 5 cm across. The gross 
shape of large nodules appears to be controlled by asymmetric growth 
rather than by the shape of the core or nucleus. 


Figube 1. — Nodules on the conveyor belt after discharge from nodule/water 
separator during trial mining operations in the Atlantic Ocean in 1970. 

Courtesy : Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 

Surface Texture 

Ferromanganese nodules exhibit several types of surface texture: 
smooth with black lustrous patches, sandpaper-like or gritty, "goose 
bumps" or numerous small welts, and knobby. 1 Generally two textures 
such as smooth and gritty are found on the same nodule. Many nodules 
have old fractures partly healed with additional manganese material 
and clay. 


Variations in structure of the nodules are common; however, most 
appear to be layered in the form of concentric rings around a small 
nucleus. Each layer represents a compositional or mineralogical unit 
ranging in thickness from rings visible with the naked eye down to 
microscopic structures. The original surface of the layers was honey- 
combed, but the pores were subsequently filled with clay and the 
materials reorganized as the nodule grew by adding new layers. Some 
nodules or portions of nodules are nearly non-crystalline and, con- 

1 Raab, W. Physical and chemical features of Pacific deep sea manganese nodules and 
their implications to the genesis of nodules. In Ferromanganese deposits on the ocean floor, 
Horn, D. R., ed., IDOB National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1972, p. 31-49. 

sequently, give no X-ray pattern. X-ray patterns that are obtained 
indicate crystalline sizes less than a few micrometers. 

Due to the fine grain size of the iron and manganese oxides and 
the manner in which the nodules are formed, the porosity is high and 
the surface area is large. The high porosity allows the nodules to 
take up appreciable quantities of seawater and its contained salts. 
Due to their large active surface area, nodules have been reported 
to be effective converters of unburned hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide 
in automobile exhausts and efficient absorbers of sulfur from stack 
gases. 2 

There is no clear age pattern in the layers but nodule samples 
exhibit thicker layers on the bottom side. Radiometric dating of the 
nodules indicates very slow growth rates of 0.1 to 0.01 times the aver- 
age sedimentation rate of one meter per million years in the deep 
regions of the ocean where manganese nodules are most commonly 


The composition of manganese nodules can be described in two ways : 
the elemental composition and the mineralogy. 


Chemical analyses of nodules from several locations in the Pacific 
Ocean are averaged in Table 2. 



Element Average Maximum Minimum 



Silicon _ 

























Note: In addition to the elements given above, cadmium, tin, arsenic, and bismuth are also found in manganese nodules. 
Source: Cardwell, P. H. Extractive metallurgy of ocean nodules. Mining Congress Journal, November 1973, p. 38. 
















































































.0006 .... 

3 Mero, J. L. Effects of mining sea floor nodules may be drastic for industry, society. 
The Northern Miner, Apr. 20, 1972, pp. 4-5. 

Nodules commonly contain more than 30 elements. In addition to the 
elements included in Table 2, there are also appreciable amounts of 
cadmium, tin, arsenic, and bismuth. 


Petrographic examination of thin sections of nodules reveals ex- 
tremely fine-grained manganese and iron oxides. The two maior man- 
ganese minerals that have been identified are todorokite and birnessite. 
Todorokite is variable in its chemical composition and can contain sig-* 
nificant amounts of other elements, while birnessite is more highly 
oxidized and is most abundant in more oxidizing environments such 
as shallower water areas. 

The only iron mineral which has been recognized in ferromanga- 
nese nodules is goethite, FeOOH. Most of the other metals found in 
nodules appear to be taken up by the iron and manganese oxides either 
by substitution, absorption, or adsorption and do not form separate 

In addition to the minerals formed in place, there are considerable 
amounts of detrital minerals within the nodules. These include quartz, 
feldspars, rutile, calcite, montmorillonite, illite, and barite. These min- 
erals are also extremely fine-grained and usually are distributed 
throughout the entire nodule. 

Formation of Manganese Nodules 

Several hypotheses on the formation of deep seabed manganese 
nodules have been presented, proposing organic or inorganic processes, 
or a combination of both. 


Recent evidence seems to favor a major role by living organisms in 
the creation of manganese nodules. 3 'Small tubular structures have 
been found on the surface of carefully collected nodules. These fragile 
structures are built from microglobules of manganese by foraminifera 
and other bottom-dwelling organisms. Some tubes originally con- 
structed on nodule surfaces are found buried or preserved within the 
interior of nodules. The interior tube-remains are filled with clay or 
other debris and with manganese nrecipitated by inorganic or bacterial 
processes. In a sense, nodules may grow in much the same way as coral. 

Other evidence has been found which indicates that maganese oxides 
can precipitate and accumulate onto a growing nodule without bac- 
teria, but that bacterial enzymes accelerate the process through a cat- 
alytic role. 4 Iron oxides and copper, nickel, and other metals probably 
precipitate inorganically, since they are known to adsorb strongly on 
manganese oxide. Manganese oxidizing bacteria have been found to 
promote the growth of nodules by manganese accretion, whereas 

3 Greenslate, J. Microorganisms Participate in the Construction of Manganese Nodules. 
Nature v. 249. 1974 : 181-183. 

* Ehrlich, H. L. The role of microbes in manganese nodule genesis and degradation. In 
Ferromanaanpse Deposits on the Ocean Floor, Horn, D. R., ed., IDOE National Science 
Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1972 : 63-70. 

manganese-oxide-reducing bacteria cause dissolution of manganese, 
copper, cobalt, and nickel, but not iron from the nodules. 


Earlier hypotheses favored inorganic formation of ferromanganese 
nodules. A recent genetic classification of ferromanganese deposits re- 
views these early theories and describes four types of deposits: (1) 
Hydrogenous deposits which are formed by slow precipitation of iron 
and manganese from "normal" sea water; (2) hydrothermal deposits 
in which the elements are supplied by hydrothermal activity on the sea 
floor, in areas of high heat flow frequently associated with volcanism ; 
(3) halmyrolytic deposits in which the elements are, at least in part, 
supplied by submarine weathering (halmyrolysis), generally of ba- 
saltic material; (4) diagenetic deposits in which the elements are sup- 
plied partly by their postdepositional redistribution within the sedi- 
ment column. 5 

Another hypothesis of inorganic formation of manganese nodules 
is linked to data from the Deep Sea Drilling Project. This hypothesis 
proposes that hot intrusive rocks could have raised the temperature in 
overlying sediments thereby increasing the solubility of metals in 
interstitial water. 6 This could cause leaching of metals out of sedi- 
ments and outward migration of waters trapped in the sediment. 
When these warm interstitial waters with higher than normal trace- 
metal concentrations reach the more oxidizing interface with the over- 
lying ocean water, rapid precipitation of manganese, iron, copper, and 
nickel would result. 

The role of iron as the mechanism for manganese nodule formation 
is the basis of another hypothesis. Evidence has been found indicating 
colloidal iron oxides may deposit onto suitable nuclei in cavities under 
conditions of locally high acidity, followed by deposition of manganese 
oxides and trace metals by a catalytic process. 7 

In any event, the formation of manganese nodules is a poorly under- 
stood and complex process. It is likely that no single hypothesis fully 
expresses all the mechanisms involved, but portions or combinations of 
several of the hypotheses mentioned may be valid. Present evidence 
seems to indicate that the nodules can be formed in a variety of ways 
depending on local conditions. 

Geographical Distribution 

Manganese nodules are found on the ocean floor in many areas of the 
world. Some world-wide oceanographic expeditions have recovered 
them at nearly every station. Although only about 3 percent of the 
ocean's floor has been extensively surveyed, there is abundant evidence 
indicating that deposits of manganese nodules exist in potentially 
commercial quantities. The advent of bottom photography and deep 

6 Bonatti, E., T. Kraemer, and H. Rydell. Classification and genesis of submarine iron- 
manjranese denosits. In Ferromanganese Denosits an the Ocean Floor. Horn D R ed 
IDOE, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1972: 149-16'6 

6 Raab. op. cit., p. 46. 

7 Burns, R. G., and B. A. Brown. Nucleation and mineralogieal controls on the eompo- 
s L tlon „9! roaneanese nodules. Ferromanganese Deposits on the Ocean Floor, Horn D. R 
ed., IDOE, National Science Foundation, Washington. D.C., 1972: 51-61. 


water television has greatly increased the discovery of manganese 
nodule deposits. As more deposits have been found, more information 
has become available concerning the nature of the ocean floor where 
high concentrations are most likely to be found. In general, the nodules 
are found predominantly in areas of oxygen-rich water and low sedi- 
mentation. Areas of low sedimentation are generally in deep regions of 
the ocean, farthest from land and volcanic or high biological activity. 
Manganese nodules have also been discovered in Lake Michigan. 8 

Since nodules are found mainly on the sediment surface, or partially 
buried, and form much more slowly than sediment accumulates, there 
is some uncertainty as to what prevents their burial. Some investigators 
suggest that deep sea predators feed on microorganisms living on the 
nodules and nudge the nodules, keeping them on the surface. Others 
suggest that the microorganisms themselves keep the nodules buoyed 
up. The decrease of nodules with depth in the sediment (Fig. 2) may be 
explained by dissolution of the metal oxides after burial due to the 
different geochemical environment of the subseafloor. 

8 Rossman, R., and E. Callander. Manganese nodules In Lake Michigan. Science, v. 162, 
1968, pp. 1123-1124. 


When nodule frequency at the surface is com- 
pared with nodule frequency at depth in the 
sediment column, it is clear that most nodules 
occur at the sediment-water interface. For ex- 
ample, there are four times as many nodules at 
the surface as in the next 3 feet of underlying 
sediment in the North Pacific. 


Source : Horn, D. ~R. B. M- Horn, and M. N. Delach. Distribution of Ferromanganese 
Deposits in the World Ocean. In Ferromanganese Deposits on the Ocean Floor, Horn, D. R., 
ed., IDOE, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., li>72, p. 15. 


Although manganese nodules are common on the ocean floor, deposits 
of sufficiently high abundance and metallic content to be commercially 
attractive occur in relatively few known places. Commercial interests 
have collected and analyzed a great number of manganese nodules, but 
all publicly known information is based on approximately 600 sam- 
ples. 9 10 X1 They are found mainly in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian 


f-erromanganese deposits of the North Pacific are widespread. Limits are a function of increasing rates of deposition toward land and, in the 

south, by rapid accumulation of biogenic carbonate. The highest density of nodules lies between 6 30 N and 20 N. 



- \>. 


Most ferromanganese deposits are concentrated along the line of topographic highs 

Society Islands; and the Tuamotu Archipelago. 

which includes the Mamhiki Plateau; Line, Cook and 

Source, Figs. 3 and 4 : Horn et at, 1972, op. cit., p. 13. 

9 Horn, D. R., M. N. Delach, and B. M. Horn. Metal content of ferromanganese deposits 
of the oceans. IDOE Technical Report No. 3, NSF-GX 33616, National Science Foundation, 
Washington, D.C., 1973. 

10 Horn, D. R., B. M. Horn, and M. N. Delach. Ocean manganese deposits, metal values 
and mining sites. IDOE Technical Report No. 4, NSF-GX 33616, National Science Founda- 
tion, Washington, D.C,. 1973. 

u Frazier, J. Z., and G. Arrhenius. World-wide distrihution of ferromanganese nodules 
and element concentration in selected Pacific Ocean nodules. IDOE Technical Report No. 2, 
NSF-GX 34659, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1972. 






Ferromanganese deposits of the North Atlantic. Both the Blake Plateau and Red Clay Provinces are sites of 
non-deposition or very low sediment accumulation. Cores and dredges from areas outside these provinces 
which recovered ferromanganese are from the flanks and summits of topographic highs. 









%-.h J 

I -« OttOGt I 


Distribution of ferromanganese deposits in the South Atlantic and Western Indian Oceans. The South American Province, and Cape. Mad 

agascar and Crozet Basins are areas protected from continental and biogenic debris. Rates of sedimentation are low and nodules are 


Source, Figs. 5 and 6 : Horn et al., 1972, op. cit., p. 11. 


The richest deposits of manganese nodules are found in the North 
Pacific Ocean in a narrow band south of Hawaii just north of the 
equatorial zone of high biological productivity (Fig. 3). This band is 
about 200 km wide by 1500 km long and runs roughly oast-west between 
latitudes 6° N and 20° N and between longitudes 110° W and 180° W. 
The ocean floor is 4000 to 5000 m deep in this area and the sediments 
are rich in siliceous remains of plankton (radiolaria). The floor of 
the North Pacific where nodules occur can bo divided into two types: 
siliceous ooze and red clay. The average metal values of nodules from 
the siliceous deposits are nickel (Ni) 1.28 percent, copper (Cu) 1.16 






























percent, manganese (Mn) 24.6 percent and cobalt (Co) 0.23 percent, 
while the nodules from the red clays contain Ni 0.76 percent, Cu 0.49 
percent, Mn 18.2 percent and Co 0.25 percent. 

[In percent of dry weight] 

Region Nickel Copper Manganese Cobalt 

North Pacific siliceous ooze 

North Pacific red clay 

South Pacific elevations 

South Pacific abyssal plain 

North Atlantic 

South Atlantic 

Indian Ocean 

Source: United Nations. Economic significance, in terms of seabed mineral resources, of the various limits proposed for 
national jurisdiction. Committee on the peaceful uses of the seabed and the ocean floor beyond the limits of national juris- 
diction, A/AC.138/87, June 1973: 39 pages plus appendixes. 


In the South Pacific many manganese nodule deposits are concen- 
trated along the southern edge of the equatorial belt and on or close 
to submarine elevations such as the Manihiki Plateau, Tuamotu Archi- 
pelago, Cook Islands, and Society Islands (Fig. 4). Although not as 
extensive as those in the North Pacific, there are several mine grade 
nodule deposits in the South Pacific and some have high cobalt content 
up to 2.3 percent. Average metal values for the South Pacific are given 
in Table 3. 


In the North Atlantic nodules appear to be concentrated on the 
Blake Plateau (in water depths of about 1000 m) and in the red clay 
area 1800 km east of Florida (Fig. 5). Some encrustations occur on 
the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In general, the nodules have low metal con- 
tent (Ni 0.18-0.32 percent, Cu 0.08-0.29 percent, Mn 13.9-14.5 percent, 
Co 0.35-0.42 percent) and some have high density or include sub- 
stantial quantities of carbonate material unfavorable for metallurgical 


Thick crusts and nodule deposits occur in some areas of the South 
Atlantic. However, the deposits are generally below commercial in- 
terest in metal content. One of the more extensive areas of manganese 
nodules and crusts in the South Atlantic is off the west coast and 
southward of South Africa (Fig. 6). The deposits in this area average 
0.67 percent nickel and 0.16 percent copper. 


Several areas of nodules and crusts are reported in the Indian Ocean, 
such as the Agulhas Plateau, the Madagascar Basin, and the Crozet 
Basin (Fig. 6). These deposits generally have metal contents below 
commercial interest though some potentially minable deposits are 
alleged by industry sources to have been discovered in the Indian 
Ocean. 12 

12 United Nations A/AC. 138/87, op. cit., p. 22. 


Mine Site Selection 

Geophysical and topographic data are necessary before a mining site 
can be selected (Fig. 7). The method of mining will determine, to a 
limited extent, the water depth and bottom conditions necessary for 
the mining system to work. For example, a nodule-collecting device 
mounted on a tracked vehicle must operate on a firmer bottom than 
that needed for a neutrally buoyant rake-type collection head. Both 
of these methods can probably operate in an area of greater topo- 
graphic variation than the continuous line bucket (CLB) dredge. 

About 25 factors are involved in calculations to determine the eco- 
nomic value of a ferromanganese nodule deposit. 1 In addition to the 
water depth, bottom topography, and physical characteristics of the 
sediment, other important criteria are the concentration of the nod- 
ules, their size, uniformity, metal content, distance to port or process 
facility, and weather in the deposit area. Since the nodule concentra- 
tion per unit area of the sea floor and their metal content may vary 
within a prospective mine site, the site must be thoroughly sampled 
to ensure it can support a mining operation. Free-fall grab samplers, 
dredges, and television cameras are commonly used to evaluate the 
economic potential of a mining area (Fig. 7) . 

1 Mero, J. L. Potenial economic value of ocean-floor manganese nodule deposits. In Ferro- 
manganese Deposits on the Ocean Floor, Horn, D. R., ed., IDOE, National Science Founda- 
tion, Washington, D.C., 1972 : 191-203. 


Offshore Exploration of Ores 

Figure 7. — Offshore exploration of nodules. 

Source : United Nations, Economic implications of sea-bed mineral development in the 
international area : report of the Secretary-General, A/CONF.62/25, May 22, 1974, p. 13. 

Major changes in the metals market will affect the selection of a 
mine site, either making lower grade nodules profitable or confining 
mining operations to only the highest grade deposits. The type of 
metals recovery process used or the metals market the company desires 
to enter will feed back into site selection. For example, a company may 
wish to market cobalt, copper, nickel, and manganese while another 
company may be interested in extracting and marketing only cobalt, 
copper, and nickel. These considerations will affect the size of the 
mining operation necessary, desired metal values of the nodules, and, 
hence, the site selection. 

The efficiency of the mining system will also play a role in determin- 
ing the minimum size economically feasible as a mining site. As yet 
there are no hard data on recovery efficiency. The total amount of ore 
mined from workable or accessible areas of a mine site depends on the 
pick-up efficiency of the collecting device and the mine sweeping effi- 
ciency or ratio of area actually swept by the bottom device to the area 
accessible for mining. Limited experience indicates that the dredge 
head pick-up efficiency is somewhere between 30 percent and 70 percent, 


probably around 50 percent. The mine sweeping efficiency is a function 
of the characteristics of the mining equipment, navigational system, 
and operation procedures. Sweep efficiency may be around 45 to 65 per- 
cent. Two other factors to consider are unminable areas (about 15 to 25 
percent of the bottom appears to be too rough or otherwise physically 
unsuitable for mining) and cut-off grade (about 10 percent of the site 
is expected to contain nodules of too low grade to be mined). The most 
unfavorable combination of factors (accessibility, dredge efficiency, 
sweep efficiency, and cut-off grade may allow only 9 percent of the 
nodules in an area to be recovered. An optimistic combination is likely 
to allow 35 percent recovery and a completely ideal combination could 
yield 58 percent recovery. A working average for nodule recovery 
efficiency expected by industry is around 25 percent or higher. The 
production period for the venture to be profitable and the overall min- 
ing efficiency determine the minimum site size. Production periods of 
twenty years have generally been assumed. Greater efficiency would 
permit a smaller mine site to be commercial as would a shorter pro- 
duction period, if acceptable. 

Some experts believe that exploration for potential mine sites over a 
broad area may become more restricted or difficult if an international 
regime is established to regulate the seabed. However, most of the 
major groups involved in ferromanganese nodule mining investiga- 
tions have completed the exploration stage and are aware of a number 
of potential mining sites. 2 

Nodule Mining Technology 

Once a mining site has been selected the next problem is to collect 
and elevate the nodules to the surface from depths of 3000 to 5000 
meters. Mining methods must be highly reliable and must recover 
volumes large enough to be economic. Three basic systems have been 
devised: (1) Air-lift, (2) hydraulic lift without air, and (3) mechani- 
cal lift such as the continuous line bucket (CLB) system. Each of these 
basic methods has individual variations. In addition to these continu- 
ous recovery methods, batch systems such as wireline dredging and 
buoyant hoppers have also been proposed. 3 However, while single- 
collector dredging is useful for obtaining large tonnage samples for 
evaluation, it is not considered an economic large-scale production sys- 
tem due to its high cost and low recovery rate when used at great 
depths. 4 


The air-lift pumping (ALP) or pneumatic lift method is techni- 
cally a three-phase flow: air, water, and nodules. Compressed air is 
injected into the pipe at various depths. The upward movement draws 
water, nodules, and surrounding sediment into the bottom end of the 
pipe. The nodules are literally vacuumed off the seabed and carried up 

2 Rothstein, A. J., and R. Kaufman. The approachlnp maturity of deep ocean mining — 
tl).« pace quickens. Offshore Technology Conference Preprint* t97S, v. 1. 107'!, pp. 

3 Wenzel, J. C. Systems — development planning. In Ocean Engineering. Brahtz, J. F.. 

ed.. Wiley, New York, l!)t>S. p. 110. 

* United Nations. A/C0NF.C2/2."), op. cit., p. 17. 


the pipe by the flow of water and air and deposited in the mining ship 
on the surface (Fig. 8). The ALP system is inherently more complex 
than a single or dual phase system. Several technical difficulties have 
presented themselves. The amount and injection point of air, diameter 
of pipe, amount of water transported, and amount and size of solids 
transported each have narrow tolerance limits. For this reason, the 
system must be carefully adjusted to the conditions of each individual 
mining site. 







Nodule Mining by Airlift System 



Figure 8. — Artist's conception of the likely operation of three systems proposed 

for mining nodules. 
Source : United Nations, A/CONF.62/25 op. cit., p. 18. 

The bottom device or dredge head must be carefully designed to 
screen out nodules that are too large to be transported by the air/ 
water stream or might clog the pipe. Generally, a rake type device is 
used to both loosen and screen the nodules. Deepsea Ventures has devel- 


oped and successfully tested this system on the Blake Plateau in 750 
meters of water in 1970. 5 In the Deepsea Ventures system the dredge 
head is towed across the bottom by the mining ship. Modifications of 
this method may involve a self-propelled bottom device such as a 
tracked crawler or a stationary unit with a rotating arm. 6 7 

m : 90m. 

? *?- 

Figure. 9. — Research Vessel Deepsea Miner. A converted general cargo ship 
displacing 7,500 tons full load with an overall length of 320 feet. The major 
hull modification was the installation of a 20 foot by 30 foot long well (Moon 
Pool) slightly aft of midship. A 5 root high derrick was installed to handle 
several thousand feet of 9 s /8" drill casing. 
Photo by B. J. Nixon, Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 

The efficiency of the air-lift system is not completely known. Since 
nodules larger than the system can support must l)e rejected, the 
efficiency on that basis alone would be lower than total size range 
recovery systems. The large factors of uncertainty, however, are how 
efficiently the dredge head can interact with the bottom and how tight 
a pattern of traversing the mine site the mine ship can accomplish. 

5 Covey. C. W. Ocean mining system completes tests. Under Sea Technology, October 
1970. p. 22-23, 28. 

6 Shearv. G. W.. and J. E. Steele. Mechanical deep sea nodule harvester. United States 
Patent 3.480.320. November 1U(\U. 

7 Smith, VV. J. An assessment of deep-sea manganese nodule exploitation technology- 
Unpublished manuscript, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst., 1972. 

65-675 O - 76 - 


From a resource management point of view, it would be desirable for 
the site to be mined as efficiently as possible to minimize the area of 

From a reliability point of view, although the ALP system must 
supply great amounts of compressed air to various water depths, there 
are no underwater pumps and other machinery to break down. How- 
ever, the ALP system is more complex in concept than a CLB system 
which doesn't have a long pipe string to handle, and the bucket system 
is more flexible in the ability to cope with a variety of bottom 


The hydraulic or hydrolift system is similar to the ALP, but it 
relies entirely on pumped water to provide upward flow through the 
pipe. This is technically a two-phase system : nodules and water. The 
technology for this system is already well developed and is used in 
the coal industry and in mud pumps used in oil drilling. The pump 
can be located close to the bottom or at intermediate depth. The 
hydraulic system seems to be favored by a recently formed interna- 
tional consortium managed by Kennecott Copper Corp. 8 9 


The third major recovery method, the continuous line bucket (CLB) 
system, appears to be the simplest in principle. This system uses a 
continuous polypropelene braided rope with dredge buckets attached 
at 25 to 50 meter intervals. The rope is wound through traction motors 
mounted at both forward and aft ends of the mining vessel. Because 
the rope line is neutrally bouyant, it tends to loop out away from the 
direction of motion of the mining ship (Fig. 10). As the line rotates 
the bottom of the loop drags across the seabed filling the buckets. The 
drag and increased weight of the buckets causes the loop to become 
more directly aligned with the lifting force. Consequently, the line 
moves upward more nearly vertically than its descent, and fouling of 
the loop upon itself is avoided. 

8 Tinsley, C. R. In search for commercial nodules, odds look best in Miocene-age Pacific 
Tertiary System. Engineering and Mining Journal, June 1973, p. 114—116. 
8 Oceanography Newsletter, v. 9, No. 3, Feb. 1974, pp. 1-2. 


Plan View 
Scale: l"= 4500 

Side View 
Scale: 1"=3000/ 

Only Buckets 
Near Ocean. 
Floor Shown 

"Sea Floor 

Cable Diameter and Buckets Not Drawn To Scale 

Figure 10. — Schematic drawing illustrating the design and operation of the 
Continuous Line Bucket System for mining deep ocean nodule deposits as pro- 
posed by Yoshio Masuda. A successful pilot test of this system was conducted 
in over 12,000 ft. (3,650 m) of water north of Tahiti in the summer of 1970. 
Source : Mero, op. cit., p. 199. 

The CLB system is the method in which there is the greatest amount 
of international participation. One of the largest ventures formed is 
a mining consortium called the CLB Group. 10 The CLB Group is a 
joint systems development effort involving more than 25 major com- 
panies in six countries and is managed by Dr. John L. Mero, presi- 
dent of Ocean Resources, Inc. of La Jolla, California. This con- 
sortium only intends to develop and test jointly the CLB system, then 
split up for commercial operations. 

10 Oceanography Newsletter, v. 9, No. 12, June 24, 1974, pp. 1-2. 


The CLB system was successfully tested in 3,650 meters of water 
north of Tahiti in August 1970. 11 A later test in August and Sep- 
tember 1972 recovered seven tons of nodules off Hawaii. 12 Several 
participants of the CLB consortium under the leadership of CNEXO 
of France are developing a modification of the CLB which involves 
the use of two ships working in tandem. 13 Members of the CLB Group 
met in Houston in May 1974 to plan financing and construction of 
a two-ship system which is expected to be ready for testing in 1975-76. 
The system will be built in France by Ateliers et Chantiers de 
Bretagne. 14 

The primary advantage of the CLB system over the other two tech- 
niques is simplicity and perhaps cost. The latter advantage has been 
strenuously disputed. 15 It also has the advantage of being able to 
recover nodules of any size and does not need to be designed for a 
specific depth and type of sediment as do hydraulic and air-lift sys- 
tems. Difficulties with the CLB system may result from irregular bot- 
tom topography and potential snags. The buckets must also pick up 
a good load of nodules and little sediment for the system to be eco- 
nomic, and there is no way to control how the buckets interact with the 
bottom. Critics also claim the system cannot be cycled rapidly enough 
to recover a profitable tonnage of nodules. 16 

Mining efficiency of this system again can only be estimated. The 
area mined is controlled by maneuvering the surface mining ship or 
ships; consequently, bottom coverage and nodule recovery may be 
somewhat inefficient. 

Nodule Processing Technology 

Because of the mineralogy of f erromanganese nodules is unlike that 
of any commercially mined land-based mineral deposit, straight- 
forward methods of extracting metals do not work. The manganese 
oxide and iron oxide minerals that are the main constituents of the 
nodules are extremely fine-grained and are bound in a rock (siliceous) 
matrix. Most of the other metals of interest are present in the nodules 
essentially as impurities in the iron and manganese oxides. Conse- 
quently, physical methods of separating the metals have not proved 
successful. Although it is possible to reduce the oxides by smelting, 
the resultant alloy of iron and other metals is difficult to separate 
further. Generally, chemical leaching or hydrometallurgical tech- 
niques are considered the most likely commercial methods. Details of 
most of these methods are regarded as proprietary information by the 
companies developing them. From information available, general 
descriptions of some of these extraction methods or metal winning 
processes can be derived. 

u Masuda, Y., M. J. Crulckshank, and J. L. Mero. Continuous bucketline dredging at 
12,000 feet. Offshore Technology Conference, Preprints Paper No. 1410, 1971. 

12 Mining Magazine, January 1973, p. 7. 

"United Nations, A/CONF.62/25, op. oit.,p. 19. 

"CNEXO, Bulletin d' Information, No. 61, January 1974. p. 5. 

15 Hammond, A. L., Maganese Nodules (II) : Prospects for Deep Sea Mining, Science, v. 
183, Feb. 15, 1974, pp. 644-646. 

™Ibid., p. 644. 


The first step in virtually all extraction techniques involves crushing 
the nodules. Nickel and copper are relatively easy to separate by 
chemical methods as these metals are associated with the manganese 
oxides. Leaching solutions can be developed to concentrate these metals 
and leave most of the others behind. Cobalt is found mostly with the 
iron minerals. 17 Removing cobalt and other metals requires additional 
steps. The leaching method is carefully designed to optimize the yield 
of the particular metals which a company wishes to market (Table 4). 



output Estimated 

(millions of price (per Gross value Percent of 

pounds) pound) (millions) gross value 

Manganese i 500.0 50.15 $75.0 58.8 

Nickel 25.0 1.40 35.0 27.5 

Copper 20.0 .56 11.2 8.8 

Cobalt 4.4 1.40 6.2 4.9 

Total 127.4 100.0 


Nickel 75.0 $1.40 $105.0 66.8 

Copper 60.0 .56 33.6 21.4 

Cobalt 13.2 1.40 18.5 11.8 

Total 157.1 100.0 

1 Assumes that high-purity manganese will be marketed rather than ferromanganese. 
Source: Chemical and Engineering news. Mar. 4, 1974, p. 25. 


One leaching method being developed is the hydrogen chloride proc- 
ess of Deepsea Ventures. In this method hydrogen chloride reacts with 
the crushed nodules at elevated temperatures to dissolve essentially all 
the nodule material. Most of the metals except iron form soluble metal 
chlorides which are then leached with water and separated from the 
solid residue. The solid residue containing inert silicates, sulfates, and 
oxides (mainly iron oxides) is regarded as waste. Chlorine gas is re- 
covered as a by product and hydrogen chloride can be recovered from 
the leach liquor and recycled (Fig. 11). 

17 Ibid., p. 646. 


Wet nodules 

Fig. 11 Hydrochloric acid process 


Erf SFtT ^rJ zzi-?? 3 »_-uft 




Ni. Co 1 

| H 2< 




Mn metal 


co 2 ' 

_pnnn j 1 pro °"' 

I Steam ▼ 

Copper recovery Al 2°3 

■^ Manganese > 

Copper recovery 
Nickel recovery 


Copper ^ ^- _ 

electrowinning * Copper > 



■^ Nickel ^ > 
•^ Cobalt / 

Source : Sisselman, R. Ocean Miners take soundings on Legal Problems, Development 
Alternatives, Engineering and Mining Journal, April 1975, p. 86. Copyright 1975, Engi- 
neering and Mining Journal, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. 

A proprietary ion exchange process extracts each metal into a sepa- 
rate solution from which it is plated out in an electrolytic cell. Since 
manganese cannot be recovered electrolytically, another proprietary 
method is used for this metal. 

The metals initially slated for recovery by this method are cobalt, 
copper, nickel, and manganese. Eecovery of other metals such as mo- 
lybdenum, vanadium, zinc, and cadmium is being considered should 
market conditions make their production profitable. This apparently is 
the only process being considered commercially that would produce 
high-purity manganese from the nodules. 

Advantages of this method are the high recovery rate of the metal 
content of the ore (better than 95 percent) and the low potential for 
pollution problems (the solvents are recycled) . 


A second process, suitable for production of manganese in the form 
of ferromanganese, is the sulfur dioxide (S0 2 ) roasting method devel- 
oped by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The basis of this method is to get 
the ore in the form of soluble sulfates by roasting in an atmosphere of 
S0 2 and air, followed by leaching in water. Copper is precipitated out 
directly using metallic iron, while nickel and cobalt are recovered by 
an autoclaving technique. Further purification of the nickel and cobalt 


sulfates is necessary before conversion to metallic form. The remain- 
ing manganese sulfates can then be processed further to yield ferro- 

The entire process is rather involved and exacting, but its overall 
complexity may be no greater than other methods. Companies that 
have sulfur dioxide to dispose of (as from copper smelters) may find 
this method attractive. 

Among the disadvantages are that the sulfate system is difficult to 
operate as a closed cycle and it is reported that 45 percent of the sulfur 
used is not recovered. 18 This may present a pollution problem. How- 
ever, disposal of the unrecovered sulfate ion may be easier than sulfur 
dioxide if the latter were a disposal problem initially as in the case of 
smelter gas. 


A third process, whereby only the associated metals of nickel, copper, 
cobalt, and molybdenum are recovered from the nodules, involves the 
use of ammoniacal solutions (ammonia plus an ammonium salt such 
as a carbonate, chloride, or sulfate). In order to dissolve the metals 
using ammoniacal solutions, the oxides must first be reduced (Fig. 12) . 
This is accomplished by roasting with a gaseous reducing agent such 
as carbon monoxide or hydrogen. Elevated temperatures and pressures 
are used to improve the metal recovery from the reduction and leach- 
ing operation. This process is reported to recover 85 percent or better 
of the copper, nickel, cobalt, and molybdenum leaving the manganese 
and iron essentially intact. 19 


Fig. 12 Ammonia leach process 

Leaching and washing 

Wash solution 

Copper recovery 

I [elecir 


Nickel recover 


-^ Cobalt y 

Source: Sisselman, R. op. oit., p. 84. Copyright 1975, Engineering and Mining Journal, 
1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. 

18 Brooks, P. T. and D. A. Martin, Processing manganiferous sea nodules. U.S. Bureau of 
Mines, Report of Investigations 7473, 1971. 

19 Cardwell, op. cit., p. 41. 


Kennecott has obtained a number of patents for ammoniacal leach- 
ing methods. This process is similar to one used to extract nickel from 
laterite ores and is believed to be the process favored by Kennecott for 
commercial use in nodule processing. 


Several investigators have tried leaching ferromanganese nodules in 
sulfuric acid under various conditions of time, temperature, and 
acidity (Fig. 13). The basis of this method is that individual metals 
exhibit differing degrees of solubility under varying conditions of 
acidity. The problems mainly involve a trade-off between the efficiency 
of extraction and the amount of unwanted material extracted or selec- 
tivity of extraction. In general, the method is not regarded as being 
selective enough for commercial operations. Copper, nickel, and cobalt 
are readily dissolved, but appreciable amounts of manganese and iron 
along with several trace metals are also leached. This leads to problems 
in further separation. An additional disadvantage is the large amount 
of acid consumed, about ten times that equivalent to the dissolved 
metals. Presumably this is due to the large amount of basic material 
trapped within the nodules. 20 Furthermore, if a closed loop system is 
devised, the concentration of trace metals will build up in the leach 
liquor making purification of the economic metals more difficult. 

Wet nodules 

Fig. 23 Sulphuric acid process 




|| ___ Wash water 

j rr hir ~L L T one 

Copper \ 

Cobalt recovery 

Nu Vi-\ recovery 





sulphate plant 

■5^ Cobalt y 

A Nickel ^> 

. A mm sulphate 

Source : Sisselman, R. op. cit., p. 85. Copyright 1975, Engineering and Mining Journal, 
1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. 

30 Ibid. p. 41. 



Although this method is a standard technique of land-based mining 
operations, it does not appear to be of commercial interest for proces- 
sing ferromanganese nodules. The problem again is one of selectivity. 
Manganese nodules contain numerous metals which smelting reduces 
to a complex alloy. Still, investigations of this method for processing 
ferromanganese nodules have been made. 21 

In the pyrometallurgical approach, the objective is to reduce selec- 
tively and collect the nickel, copper, cobalt, and molybdenum in a 
metallic product while rejecting a major part of the manganese and 
iron in the slag. By regulating the temperature and amount of carbon 
introduced, it is possible to control the distribution of manganese 
between the molten iron phase and the slag. However, while the metal- 
lic phase is nearly free of manganese, it contains an appreciable 
amount of iron from which it is difficult to separate the marketable 
metals. The manganese slag could be processed further into a ferro- 
manganese product. This pyrometallurgical approach may be of in- 
terest only if an existing smelter were available, but it is not likely 
to attract new capital. 22 

21 Ibid. pp. 39-40. 

22 Ibid. p. 40. 


As every action man undertakes has an environmental impact, the 
mining of ferromanganese nodules will have some effect on the en- 
vironment of the ocean floor as well as on the entire water column 
through which the mining system passes. The need to define better the 
magnitude of this impact has been a concern raised by many. Research 
to date indicates that the environmental impact of deep seabed mining 
may be negligible. 

Previous Research 

Several investigations have been conducted to determine the extent 
of the environmental impact of manganese nodule mining. At the in- 
vitation of Deepsea Ventures, Inc., in the summer of 1970 a group of 
marine scientists under the direction of Dr. Oswald A. Roels of the 
Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory observed a pilot ALP mining 
test on the Blake Plateau in the Atlantic. In this test, studies were 
made on the mixing of the bottom water discharged into the surface 
waters and its effect on dissolved oxygen concentration and phyto- 
plankton growth. No significant effects were found. In July 1972, a 
cruise aboard the R/V Robert D. Conrad was undertaken to determine 
the physical, chemical, and biological baseline conditions in a manga- 
nese nodule province on the Bermuda Rise. The bottom dwelling 
fauna were found to be very sparse in this area. In August and Sep- 
tember 1972, investigators under support from the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitored a test of the 
CLB mining system in a siliceous ooze province in the North Pacific. 
Physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the water column 
were observed and bottom dwelling fauna were sampled before, dur- 
ing, and after the mining operation. In addition, cores and photo- 
graphs were taken of the bottom. The investigators found the effects 
and disturbances of the mining operation were very minor. 

Specific Effects 

Deep sea mining may generate several specific problems such as re- 
population, transplantation, surface water contamination, and pollu- 
tion from shipboard processing. These problems have been investi- 
gated and although apparently minor, monitoring would be desirable 
during commercial operations. 


The ability of bottom organisms to repopulate a mined area will 
affect the extent and duration of the environmental impact. No data 
on this have been obtained although the National Oceanic and At- 
mospheric Administration is actively engaged in a limited research 



program to determine the environmental impact of deep sea mining. 1 2 
In addition to damage of organisms in the mining path, bottom 
sediments stirred up by the mining operation may clog or smother 
benthic (bottom dwelling) organisms over a much wider area than 
that which is actually mined. This could make the reestablishment of 
the bottom ecosystem even more difficult. Depending on the magnitude 
of the sediment stirring problem, proposed unmined buffer zones for 
repopulation purposes may be ineffective unless made very wide. How- 
ever, it is not likely that entire species will be destroyed by mining 
operations as the present techniques are not 100 percent efficient in 
bottom coverage. 


Another possible consequence of the suspension of lifted sediments 
in the water column is the transplantation of spores or other dormant 
forms of microorganisms from one area, where they lay in the sedi- 
ment, to another, where they may be reactivated under favorable 
temperature, light, and oxygen conditions in the overlying water 
column. However, it has also been argued that the redistribution of 
sediments on the ocean floor from natural causes exceeds by several 
orders of magnitude any disturbance ever likely to be caused by deep 
sea mining. 3 


The introduction of bottom water and material into the upper water 
layers is a complex problem and may prove either beneficial or deleteri- 
ous. Introduction of sediments and bottom material into the surface 
waters may increase trace-metal concentrations by leaching of nodules 
or sediments, which could inhibit photosynthesis or allow the accumu- 
lation of different trace metals within marine food chains. However, 
nodule material is not very likely to dissolve in the upper water layers. 
The oxide surfaces represent such effective adsorbents that trace metals 
are unlikely to be leached in large quantities, even though they are 
present at concentrations many times those in seawater. Some silieious 
material brought up as sediment could be expected to dissolve slightly 
increasing the silica (Si0 2 ) content of the surface water. 

A likely effect on the surface water will be an increase in photo- 
synthetic activity and productivity resulting from the high nutrient 
concentration of the bottom water. The extent of this effect will be 
determined by the concentration of nutrients introduced into the sur- 
face water and the amount of time that this nutrient-rich water re- 
mains in the euphotic zone. A phytoplankton bloom should be bene- 
ficial if a food chain develops to consume it, otherwise decaying 
plankton may cause partial fouling of the water. However, because 
organic particulate material will oxidize slowly as it falls through 
the water column, the resultant decrease in oxygen concentration prob- 
ably will be very small and may not cause any significant fouling. 
Oxidation of organic material discharged in the mining effluent as a 

1 Ocean Science News. v. 16, No. 19. May 10, 1974, p. 2-3. 

3 U.S. Department of Commerce. The environmental Impart of deep-sea mining, progress 
report. NOAA Technical Report ERL 290-OD 11. Boulder. Colo.. 1073: 185 p. 

3 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Subcommitee on 
Minerals. Materials and Fuels. Hearings. 93d Congress, 2d session on Amendment No. 946 
to S. 1134. Mar. 5, 6, and 11, 1974. Part 2, Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974. 
pp. 1091-1092. 


result of the destruction of benthos (deep sea plant or animal orga- 
nisms) will also reduce oxygen in the water. On the other hand, nutri- 
ent stimulated photosynthesis will increase the oxygen concentration. 
Perhaps a more serious effect is that discharged particulate material 
will produce turbidity in the euphotic zone cutting down light inten- 
sity and reducing photosynthetic activity. 


Another environmental consideration would be the potential impact 
of the discharge of wastes or residues from possible shipboard pre- 
liminary processing of nodules. If any such methods are developed 
that are not self contained, wastes or residues could produce a severe 
strain on the ecosystem in the mining area. However, most major con- 
cerns involved in the development of manganese nodules have deter- 
mined that at least for first generation plants, economical processing 
can be accomplished only ashore. The principal reasons for this are 
that the reagent transportation costs will be equal to, or greater than 
the nodule costs, and problems of waste disposal and environmental 
protection will be much greater at sea than on land. 

Common Effects 

Although several different mining systems are proposed, some com- 
mon effects can be expected and some impacts are unique to each 
system. Among the common impacts are: 

(1) the destruction of the benthic (bottom dwelling) organisms 
and their habitats in the path of the mining operation; 

(2) stirring up sedimentary material as the mining implement 
sweeps the ocean floor; and 

(3) introduction of sedimentary material, associated bottom 
organisms, and bottom water into various layers of the water 
column, including, in some cases, the surface water. 

The extent of each of these impacts depends on the mining technique 
used. Both the air-lift pumping (ALP) and hydro-lift systems trans- 
port nodules, sediment, benthos and deep water to the surface. In these 
processes abrasion produces quantities of fine nodule material and 
macerated organic material. Except for the nodules, all these materials 
are discharged into the ocean surface water where they may remain 
in suspension or sink depending on their physical conditions. The con- 
tinuous-line bucket system is designed to bring only nodules to the sur- 
face; however, in practice some benthos and sediment may be en- 
trapped and distributed throughout the water column. This system 
will introduce more sediment into the lower water column but less 
material into the surface water than the ALP or hydro-lift systems. 
In addition to environmental concerns, stirred sediment is also a min- 
ing problem. It may obscure the bottom or cover the nodules making 
recovery difficult. 

Findings and Further Investigations 

In reporting on preliminary investigations, including monitoring 
an ALP mining system on the Blake Plateau in the Atlantic and a 
CLB system in the silicious ooze province in the North Pacific, the 
NOAA report concluded, "In this preliminary work, no definite effects 


of mining have been observed, tentatively suggesting that mining dis- 
turbances were not great." 4 This assessment was based on numerous 
analyses of the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the 
overlying water column before, during and after the mining operations 
and several cores and pictures of the sea floor. NOAA recommended 
further research should : 

(1) establish physical, chemical, and biological baseline en- 
vironmental conditions in potential mining areas ; 

(2) document changes induced in benthic and pelagic ecosys- 
tems by deep-sea mining; 

(3) formulate guidelines for future mining operations which 
will minimize harmful environmental effects while enhancing the 
development of potentially beneficial byproducts ; and 

(4) determine the properties which should be monitored during 
deep-sea mining to provide the information needed to evaluate the 
environmental impact of specific mining methods and to devise 
mitigating measures, if necessary. 5 

In early May 1974, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin- 
istration of the Commerce Department announced the establishment 
of a Deep Ocean Mining Environmental Study (DOMES) based at 
the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. 6 Under 
funding of $3 million for fiscal year 1976, DOMES began a three- 
month environmental study in the tropical Pacific with more than 30 
scientists from NOAA, the Geological Survey, and several universities 
aboard the NOAA ship Oceanographer. An advisory panel has been 
authorized to review DOMES activities to ensure their relevance to 
industry, environmental interest groups, and other government 
agencies. One reason given for placing immediate emphasis on environ- 
mental studies is that if commercial mining is expected to start by 
1980, corporate decisions on mining equipment design and production 
techniques should have been in the final stages by mid-1975. 7 

In September 1975, the Office of Marine Minerals (OOMM) was 
established in NOAA to plan and coordinate . NO AA's expanded 
marine mining activities. The DOMES effort and $750,000 in Sea 
Grants in fiscal year 1976 were identified as programs with which the 
new office will be concerned. Onshore impacts from activities such as 
nodule processing will also be studied. 

Impacts of Alternative Sources 

By way of comparison with present ores, manganese nodules do not 
contain sulfur ; therefore, there will be no waste disposal problems of 
sulfur salts, acids, or gases. However, other materials used in process- 
ing may present disposal problems depending on the metallurgical 
process developed. 

Nodule mining* could provide the entire world population for hun- 
dreds of years with a sufficient supply of manv metals. To equal this 
reserve bv land mining would require the exploitation of many new 
areas including mining low grade deposits which are not now com- 
mercial. It is possible that in the future these areas may need to be 
used or preserved for other purposes. 

* TT.S. Department of Commerce, op. cit. p. 10B. 

*Tbid. p. 161. 

8 Ocean Science New 9, op. cit.. p. 2-3. 

T Ibid., p. 3. 


Although many companies individually began exploration and 
development of mining systems for deep seabed ferromanganese 
nodules, the recent trend has been to band together into national or 
international consortia. The major mining interests and consortia 
currently involved in nodule recovery are summarized in the following 
categories: (1) U.S. interests, (2) international consortia, and (3) 
foreign interests. 

U.S. Mixing Interests 

One of the early entries into deep ocean mining was Deepsea Ven- 
tures. Inc.. a subsidiary of Tenneco Inc. Deepsea Ventures was orga- 
nized in 1968 by Tenneco to further an ocean mining project which 
had been previously under development for six years by another 
Tenneco subsidiary, Xewport Xews Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Com- 
pany. Deepsea Ventures has operated two mining research vessels, the 
150-foot R/V Prospector and the 320-foot R/V Deepsea Miner. Their 
mining technique and ore processing involve an air-lift recovery sys- 
tem and hydrometallurgical extraction of manganese in addition to 
copper, cobalt, and nickel. In May 1974, Tenneco formed a consortium 
of Deepsea Ventures with three Japanese firms. In November 1974, 
the consortium was joined by United States Steel Corp. and Union 
Miniere of Belgium. 1 This development will be discussed in the next 
section under consortia. On November 14, 1974 Deepsea Ventures be- 
came the first company to file a claim for mining rights on the deep 
seabed. This claim is not officially recognized by the U.S. Department 
of State. 

Another early entry into the field of seabed mining was Kennecott 
Copper Corp. This firm began research into nodule deposits, mining, 
and processing in 1962. It has developed nodule recovery techniques 
based on hydraulic methods and carried out research on hydrometal- 
lurgical processes of metal extraction, some involving liquid ion ex- 
change. In 1973 Kennecott operated a pilot plant in Lexington, Massa- 
chusetts, which processed half a ton of ore per day. This process did 
not recover manganese or trace metals. On January 29, 1974, Kenne- 
cott announced the formation of an international consortium with firms 
from Japan, Great Britain, and Canada. 

Among the other U.S. companies to have developed an interest in 
deep ocean mining are Union Carbide Exploration Corp. However, 
Union Carbide is reported to have dropped its nodule mining pro- 

1 Ocean Science News. Nov. 15, 1974, p. 4. 



gram. 2 Founded in 1965, Ocean Resources Inc. has worked with Jap- 
anese, European, and Canadian firms to develop a CLB mining sys- 
tem. In 1968 and 1970 Ocean Resources conducted cruises for explora- 
tion of nodule deposits and development of a CLB system with the 
Japan Ocean Resources Association. In 1971 Ocean Resources orga- 
nized a consortium to test a CLB system. More recently, Ocean Re- 
sources organized a 25-member consortium from six countries to de- 
velop and production-test CLB systems. Other U.S. firms represented 
in this consortium include Ethyl Corp., Occidental Minerals, Phelps- 
Dodge, N.L. Industries, Superior Oil, Utah International, United 
States Steel, General Crude Oil, and Atlantic Richfield Oil. Bethle- 
hem Steel is also reported to have an interest in nodule mining. 3 Bat- 
telle Memorial Institute is reported to be conducting research on 
nodule processing. 4 

Another U.S. firm with a generally unadvertised but long standing 
interest in deep seabed mining is Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., 
Inc. In November 1975, Lockheed publicly announced that it had been 
developing a nodule mining system and processing technology for 
over 10 years. However, Lockheed stated it cannot proceed alone to 
the expensive ocean testing phase. 

The Howard Hughes Enigma 

In view of recent events, a U.S. firm that bears special mention with 
regard to the development of deep sea mining technology is the Sum- 
ma Corporation owned by the billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. In 
1968, a Russian diesel-powered submarine carrying torpedos and mis- 
siles armed with nuclear warheads sank about 750 miles northwest of 
Hawaii. The ship broke up as it sank to the ocean floor at a depth of 
16,000 feet. Evidently, the Russian navy did not know the exact loca- 
tion of the mishap although U.S. listening devices had pinpointed the 
ship's location with accuracy. 5 The U.S. Navy and Central Intelligence 
Agency (CIA) recognized this as a rare opportunity to gain valuable 
information about Soviet codes and nuclear capabilities. However, the 
means of retrieving the remains of the submarine were lacking. The 
CIA apparently provided the incentive for Howard Hughes to build 
the 618-foot, 36,000-ton Glomar Explorer, which was widely advertised 
as a deep seabed mining ship, with recovery of the submarine in mind. 
In any event, deep seabed mining made a good cover for the 
secret activities of the CIA to recover the submarine. Consequently, 
the CIA became the owner and primary impetus for the develop- 
ment of the specialized deep sea recovery technology through Summa 
Corporation, beginning about 1970. 

The normal secrecy of the Hughes operations contributed to the 
complete success of the cover story resulting in numerous accounts 
such as, "Howard Hughes may have manganese nodules on the deck 
of his deep-ocean mining ship, the Glomar Explorer, by mid-1974." 6 

a Mineral Resources of the Deep Seabed, Part 2. op. cit., p. 1081. 

3 Oceanograph Newsletter, v. 9. No. 12. June 24, 1974. p. 1. 

*FHpse, J. E. Ocean Mining Stifled by lack of U.S. and U.N. Action. Sea Technology, 
January 1974, p. 33. 

6 Washington Post. Mar. 23, 1975, p. Al and A7. 

6 Tinsley, C. R. Mining of Manganese Nodules : an Intriguing Legal Problem. Engineer- 
ing/Mining Journal, October 1973, p. 84. 


Other accounts were also speculative or else described design features 
of the ship or equipment that could not be concealed. 7 8 

The cover story not only deceived the news media and mining com- 
munity but also had an effect on the Law of the Sea negotiations on 
exploitation of deep seabed resources. It was reported that the activi- 
ties of the Summa Corporation mining ships were a frequent topic 
in the corridors in Caracas. 9 Others have been led to speculate, "Hope- 
fully, the first benefit of the Hughes venture will be to catalyze action 
on some settlement of the question of manganese nodules and the 
law." 10 However, now that the covert activities of Hughes are known 
there is a suspicious reaction to the question of all ocean research. 
Christopher W. Pinto of Sri Lanka observed at the Geneva session of 
the Law of the Sea Conference : "The developing countries have been 
arguing on the basis that espionage is the real reason why the major 
powers seek complete freedom for scientific research. Now that this is 
confirmed, they can be more forceful." xl 

This all began in 1970 when the Summa Corporation contracted 
with Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. and Global Marine, Inc., who 
have extensive experience in undersea technology and deep sea drilling 
techniques to design a recovery system. The fact that Global Marine 
has a patent for a deep seabed nodule mining system filed as early as 
December 1966, that appears to be compatible with the ship and barge 
system actually constructed, would suggest that the basic technology 
developed for retrieval of the submarine, if not originally intended for 
nodule mining, could readily be transferred to nodule mining. The 
claw arrangement described in the press for grappling the submarine 12 
could be replaced by the mining head described in patent 3,433,531 
issued to Global Marine in March 1969 (Fig. 14). The apparatus 
described in the patent consists of a long rotating boom on a fixed base 
which could sweep out a large area before being repositioned. If crush- 
ing is employed in the base unit, nodules of any size could be collected 
and transported up the pipe string by an air-lift pump. This method 
would cover a mine site relatively efficiently and avoid the difficulty 
of other systems of towing a dredge head over the bottom without 
undue stress on the pipeline. Although a barge is mentioned in the 
patent, the one constructed was designed mainly to meet the 
needs of the CIA. Another connection to deep sea mining came when 
Lockheed recently publicly stated that it has been active for over 10 
years in developing nodule mining and processing technology and that 
it has tested a mining system on land but has not yet proceeded to sea 
trials. Lockheed is now looking for partners and financing before 
going much further. 

There is little doubt that the Glow-ar Explorer could be used for 
deep seabed mining but the expense of adapting it to a particular min- 
ing system would likely be prohibitive for a commercial operation. Its 
value at present would mainly be as a sophisticated research ship and 
platform for testing ocean mining equipment. 

I Now Howard Huehps Mlnps thp Orpan Floor. Rustnesa Week. Jnnp lfi. 1973. p. 47-50. 
8 Huahea Glnmar Explorer Bpgins Sea Tests of Mining Systems. Ocean Industn/. March 

1974. p. 32-34. 

8 Alexander, Tom. Dead Ahead Toward a Bounded Main. Fortune, October 1974, p. 210. 
10 Tlnsley. op. cit.. p. 87. 

II Orenn Science Neira. Mar. 21. 1975, p. 2. 

12 Washington Post. Mar. 19, 1975, p. Al, A10. 

65-675 O - 76 - 4 

March 13, 1969 




Filed Dec. 27, 1966 Sheet 4 of 

0# ( — 


Figure 14. — Patent issued to Global Marine, Inc. 


After the CIA coverup story came out, Paul Reeve, general man- 
ager of the Summa Corporation, stated : "This equipment was devel- 
oped as a prototype mining ship, and this is its objective." 13 Mr. Reeve 
is also reported to have acknowledged that extensive tests of the 
Hughes mining system still need to be concluded before he could make 
any predictions as to when Summa might actually produce nodules 
from the ocean floor. 

Jack Flipse, president of Deepsea Ventures, regarded the Summa 
Corp. as a legitimate mining interest which took on a related assign- 
ment for the CIA. He was reported to observe that up to about a year 
and a half before the CIA story broke, the company was working hard 
on its technology for processing manganese nodules. Suddenly, their 
efforts in that area ceased and the only reports of the Hughes ocean 
mining activities that surfaced were those concerning the ship and 
barge system design. 14 

International Consortia 

The recent trend of many firms to form international consortia to 
mine the ocean floor is claimed to have many advantages. In the ab- 
sence of an international agreement regarding exploitation of the deep 
seabed, one advantage is broadened government support. Other ad- 
vantages include the benefits of diverse capabilities, pooled invest- 
ments, and shared risk. 

The first international consortium to be formed for commercial 
exploitation of manganese nodules was the Kennecott group. This 
consortium, formed in January 1974, plans a $50 million five-year 
research and development program to determine the feasibility of 
mining ferromanganese nodules from the deep seabed and extracting 
metals from them. 15 The operation will be managed by Kennecott 
Copper Corp. which has a 50 percent interest in the venture. A por- 
tion of Kennecott's interest is derived from the value assigned to its 
prior experience in deep seabed mining. The group is composed of 
two British firms, Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. with 20 percent interest and 
Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd. with 10 percent interest, the Japanese 
Mitsubishi Corp. with 10 percent interest and Noranda Mines Ltd. 
of Canada with 10 percent. A loan of up to $1.8 million has been 
offered to the British firms by the British government to be repaid 
when the venture first becomes commercial. 

The second U.S. firm to announce participation in an international 
consortium to mine ferromanganese nodules was Tenneco's Deepsea 
Ventures, Inc. The initial members of this consortium were all Japa- 
nese trading firms: Nichimen Co., Ltd., C. Itoh and Co., Ltd., and 
Kanematsu-Gosho, Ltd. 16 The Consortium was reorganized in Novem- 
ber 1974 to provide a wider base of international support. Two new 
members included Essex Iron Co. (wholly owned by United States 
Steel) and Union Mines, Inc. (wholly owned by Union Miniere, S.A. 
of Belgium). Ownership is set up as follows: private investors in 
Deepsea Ventures to have 5 percent ; Tenneco to divide the remaining 
95 percent equally four ways (if all options are exercised) among 
itself, the two new members, and Japan Manganese Nodule Develop- 

M Ocean Science News. Mar. 21, 1975, p. 1 
" Ibid., p. 1. 

18 Oceanography Newsletter, v. 9, No. 3, Feb. 4, 1974, pp. 1-2. 
M Oceanography Newsletter, v. 9, No. 9, May 13, 1974, p. 1. 


ment Co., Ltd. (Jamco), which was set up by four Japanese com- 
panies. The agreement is to jointly assess a selected Pacific Ocean 
nodule deposit, scale-up and test mining and processing systems, and 
market-test the products recovered. The marketing program will be 
aimed at the signing of purchasing agreements prior to any commit- 
ment to begin a full-scale, commercial mining operation. Deepsea 
Ventures is to handle the mining and processing. The national groups 
will use proportionate shares of the metals in their respective domestic 
economies or worldwide trade. The total project is expected to cost 
approximately $200 million from development and evaluation through 
commercial operation. It is estimated that as many as 10 mining 
units, each with a capacity of a million tons per year, could be 
operating in the 1980's. 17 Recent reports indicate that the Japanese 
are dropping out of this consortium and that Tennaco is reducing its 

The CLB Group also involves U.S. firms. This group, involving 
about 20 major companies in six countries, is a joint effort to develop a 
$5-million CLB system to full production. 18 The CLB Group was 
initially organized in 1971 and has been reorganized several times since. 
Participants in the CLB Group include Nippon and the Sumitomo In- 
dustries in Japan, France's Societe Le Nickel and CNEXO, Australia's 
Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) steel and oil group, Canada's Inter- 
national Nickel Co. (INCO), Dome Mines, Placer Mining, Teck 
Corp., Noranda Mines Ltd., and Cominco Ltd., and a German combine 
of Preussag AG, Metallgesellschaft AG and Salzgitter AG. U.S. firms 
participating include Ethyl Corp., Occidental Minerals, Phelps-Dodge, 
N.L. Industries, Superior Oil, Utah International, U.S. Steel, General 
Crude Oil, and Atlantic Richfield Oil. The consortium is managed by 
Dr. John L. Mero, president of Ocean Resources, Inc., of La Jolla, 
California. According to Dr. Mero, "The CLB aim is to get the system 
running on a full production basis to see what the costs and problems 
are by 1975. If everything looks good, then the group would break up 
and the individual companies would go their own ways in mining 
efforts.". 19 This type of consortium which will not continue through 
full-scale commercial production is a departure from the other 
consortia arrangements. 

Another international consortium for deep seabed nodule mining 
was formed early in 1975 by International Nickel Co. of Canada Ltd. 
(INCO) with its U.S. subsidiary, The International Nickel Co. Inc., 
the West German AMR group consisting of Metallgesellschaft AG, 
Preussag AG, Rheinische Braunkohlenwerke AG, and Salzgitter AG, 
and the Japanese group organized under the name Deep Ocean Min- 
ing Co. Ltd. (DOMCO) which represents six firms from the Sumi- 
tomo combine, Ataka and Co. Ltd., Tovo Menka Kaisha Ltd., Maur- 
beni Corp., Kvokuvo Co. Ltd., Dowa Mining Co. Ltd., Nijvson Mining 
Co. Ltd., Shinko Electric Co., Nissho-Iwai Ltd., Tokvo Rope Manu- 
facturing Co. Ltd., and Mitsui OSK Alliance Ltd. 20 Another U.S. 
participant, Sedco Inc.. joined the consortium later in the year. Each 
group will have an eoual interest in the project. 

The agreement calls for the parties to proceed with design and de- 
velopment work to determine the economic and technical feasibility 

"Pppp-Ocpan Minincr Tnkes a Stpn Ahend. Ocean Industry, March 1975, p. 82. 

18 Oceanography Newsletter, v. 9, No. 12, June 24, 1974, pp. 1-2. 

•*m&. p. 1. 

*° Ocean Science News, Apr. 11, 1975, p. 1. 


of deep sea nodule mining. If results are favorable, the consortium 
will progress to commercial-scale mining and recovery of metals from 
manganese nodules. Most of the members of this consortium have been 
participants in the CLB Group. 

Foreign Interests 

More than 100 companies around the world are now engaged in vari- 
ous aspects of exploiting mineral resources from the ocean floor. Some 
of the major foreign nodule mining interests are listed below. These 
firms represent a spectrum ranging from mining companies and engi- 
neering firms to trading firms and banks. Most of these firms are now 
involved in joint ventures either nationally or with international 

Australia : Broken Hill Proprietary. 
Belgium : Union Minere. 
Canada : 

Cominco Ltd. 
Dome Mines. 

International Nickel Company. 
Noranda Mines Ltd. 
Placer Mining. 
Teck Corp. 
Federal Republic of Germany : 
Metallgesellschaft A.G. 
Preussag A.G. 

Rheinische Braunkohlenwerke A.G. 
Salzgitter A.G. 
France : 

Centre National pour l'Exploitation des Oceans (CNEXO). 
Societe Le Nickel. 
Great Britain : 

Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd. 
Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. 
Japan : So far 33 Japanese firms have joined various international or national 
consortia to engage in deep seabed mining activities. Some of the principal 
firms are : 

Ataka and Co. Ltd. 

C. Itoh and Co., Ltd. 

Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank. 

Dowa Mining Co. Ltd. 

Fuji Bank. 

Furutaka Shoji. 

Hitachi Shipbuilding and Engineering. 

Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. 

Kanematsu-Gosho Ltd. 

Komatsu Ltd. 

Kokuyo Co. Ltd. 

Mitsubishi Corp. 

Mitsui Osk Alliance Ltd. 

Marubeni Corp. 

Nichimen Co., Ltd. 

Nijyson Mining Co. Ltd. 

Nippon Steel. 

Nissho-Iwai Ltd. 

Pacific Metals. 

Sanwa Bank. 

Shinko Electric Co. 

Sumitomo Metal Mining. 

Sumitomo Shoji. 

Sumitomo Shipbuilding and Machinery. 

Tokyo Rope Manufacturing Co. Ltd. 

Toyo Menka Kaisha Ltd. 


Problems in Determining the Economic Impact of Nodule 


Commercial mining of manganese nodules will have a significant 
impact on the world metals market. In attempting to assess the extent 
of this impact and project long range forecasts, several problems are 

The economic impact of nodule mining is dependent on several 
variables including the establishment of an international authority or 
legal framework, size of operations, metal production per ton of 
nodules, and timing of commercial operations. The amount of profit 
derived by the industry will determine to a fair extent the rate of 
development and subsequent impact of nodule mining. Since a com- 
mercial nodule industry is not yet an ongoing reality and the methodol- 
ogy is not yet proven under full scale prolonged operations, there is 
some question as to how attractive the economic returns will be. Al- 
though industry spokesmen are generally optimistic about the profits 
of nodule mining, hazards and technical difficulties are numerous. 

establishing an international authority 

The establishment of a favorable international regime for deep 
seabed exploitation will also influence the extent and timing of the 
economic impact of nodule mining. In the last five years, several 
proposals for a new treaty on ocean resources have been submitted 
to the United Nations, and the member nations have been actively pre- 
paring for, and finally participating in, the third U.N. Law of the Sea 
Conference. Pending conclusion of a workable system, companies have 
been hesitant to invest the amounts of money necessary to proceed to 
commercial operations without some assurance of security for their 
investment. Any projection of a time scale for future metal production 
from nodules would have to assume the establishment of an interna- 
tional regime or reasonably secure and profitable investment climate in 
order to make realistic estimates. In a recent United Nations report on 
the economic implications of deep seabed mineral development, pro- 
jections of metal production from nodules were made based on the 
assumption that an internationally agreed legal framework will come 
into force by 1976. 21 However, unless there is more substantive progress 
at further sessions of the Law of the Sea Conference, many observers 
feel that such an assumption would be very optimistic. 

size or operation 

Another factor that will influence the economic impact of a nodule 
mining industry is the size of the industry. As in most manufacturing 
or processing operations, there is an economy of scale. That is, there 
is a point up to which the unit cost is reduced by scaling up the size of 
the operation. For manganese nodules the economies of scale are much 
greater for the processing stage. This means that the unit costs 
probablv still decrease for plant sizes capable of processing up to 3 
to 4 million tons of dry nodules per year. On the other hand, hydraulic 
or air-lift nodule recovery systems apparently reach their optimum 
size at a capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 tons of wet nodules per day. This 
would provide a processing plant with 1 to 2.millJQn ton$ of dry 

-^UoitQd Nations, A/GONT. .62/25,. op. cit., p. ?6. 


nodules per year. Consequently, a mining company may be expected 
to operate 2 or 3 mining rigs and a plant designed to process 3 to 4 
million tons per year. However, Deepsea Ventures, which intends to 
produce high purity manganese for which the world market is rela- 
tively small, initially plans a plant of only about 1 million tons of 
nodules per year. 


Processing techniques and grade of the nodules will determine the 
metal production per ton of nodules which effects the economic impact. 
Industry sources have generally indicated that the minimum metal 
enrichment for a nodule deposit to be economically profitable is on 
the order of 2 to 2.5 percent combined copper and nickel. High cobalt 
values could lower the acceptable copper plus nickel grade if a com- 
pany were more interested in marketing cobalt. The amount of metal 
recovered depends on the efficiency of the metallurgical process de- 
veloped. Indications at present are that industry may obtain yields 
on the order of 90 to 95 percent of the major metals from the nodules. 
Trace metals such as molybdenum, vanadium, zinc, silver, the platinum 
group, etc., may be recovered at slightly lower yields on the order 
of 80 percent. Table 5 is a projection by the United Nations for metal 
production per million tons of nodules. These projections assume an 
average metal content that may be somewhat higher than a typical 
commercial grade deposit would assay. From public comments of in- 
dustry spokesmen, commercial deposits may average 28 percent man- 
ganese, 1.25 percent nickel, 1.1 percent copper, and 0.25 percent cobalt. 
An average metallurgical recovery efficiency of 95 percent may also be 
more likely initially. Using these figures a one million ton per year 
operation might be expected to produce 252,000 tons of manganese. 
11.900 tons of nickel, 10,500 tons copper, and 2,400 tons cobalt. In 
terms of 1973 U.S. imports, a one million ton per year plant (the mini- 
mum size likely) could provide approximately 6 percent of nickel im- 
ports, 2.5 percent of copper imports, and 19 percent of cobalt imports. 
Comparisons of nodule production to manganese imports are generally 
misleading because most manganese imports are not converted to the 
higher value higher purity metal which would be the product of 
nodule processing. 


Metal content Approximate metal 
per weight of production per mil- 
dry nodules lion tons of dry 
Metal (in percent) nodules (in tons) l 

Manganese (if recovered) 24. 230, 000 

Nickel 1.6 15,000 

Copper 1.4 13,000 

Cobalt .21 2,000 

Other metals .3 2, 500 

> Assuming 95 percent metallurgical recovery except for trace metals where an 80 percent rate is assumed. 
Source: Ibid., p. 28. 

Another estimate of metal recovery from nodules by U.S. mining 
interests in 1985 was prepared by Robert Nathan Associates for the 
Senate Committee on Commerce, National Ocean Policy Study 


(Table 6). This study assumed entry into commercial operation of one 
U.S. mining firm of one million tons annual capacity and two firms 
each of 3 million tons annual recovery for a total of 7 million tons per 
year. The firm with the smaller recovery (Deepsea Ventures) would 
be the only U.S. mining interest recovering manganese. The recovery 
efficiency of the major metals by this firm was projected at 95 percent. 
The recovery efficiency of the other firms was projected someAvhat 
lower at 80 percent. 







Approximate average content in initially mined ore 







Deep-sea ventures— 1,000,000 tons of ore: 

Recoverable metal (tons) per 100 tons of ore 

at 95 

percent recovery rate 





Tons of metal recovered (thousands) 





Other operations— 6,000,000 tons of ore: 1 

Percent of metal recovered 



50 .. 
.12 .. 

Recoverable metal (tons) per 100 tons of ore. 

Tons of metal recovered (thousands) 




Total tons of metal recovered (thousands) 





Price per ton (dollars)(1973) 2 





Gross value at 1973 prices (millions of dollars) 





1 Original data from "Manganese Nodules (11): Prospects for Deep-sea Mining," Science, Feb. 15, 1974, pp. 644-646. 

2 U.S. Bureau of Mines, Commodity Data Summaries, 1974. 

Source: U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Commerce, national ocean policy study. The Economic Value of Ocean 
Resources to the United States. Committee Print, 93d Cong. 2d sess. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C , 
1974, p. 21. 


The time schedule for entry of companies into commercial nodule 
mining operations will influence the economic impact of metals from 
the deep seabed. As each company enters the commercial phase, the 
total amount of metals extracted will increase. However, at this time 
any definite schedule of events is purely speculative. No commercial- 
scale processing facilities are under construction and full-scale mining 
operations are not likely to begin much in advance of the completion 
of the processing plant. Even if full-scale mining equipment were 
completed, tested, and utilized to stockpile nodules, the world metals 
market would not be affected until the nodules were processed. Due to 
the lag time in design and construction, it does not appear likely that 
full-scale processing will begin before 1979 or 1980. Assuming no major 
delays from technical problems or an international authority, a world 
wide production of 15 million metric tons of dry nodules could be 
reached by 1985. - 23 Production from consortia involving U.S. firms 
could be expected to account for half that total or about 7 million tons 
(assuming 2 operations of 3 million tons each and one operation of i 
million tons). 

22 United Nations. A/CONF 62/65, op. cit., p. 31. 

23 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Mineral resources 
of the deep seabed. Hearings before the Subcomittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels on 
S. 1134. 93d Congress. 1st session. May 17. June 14, 15, 18, and 19, 1973. Washington. 
D.C, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1973, 768. p. 201-221. 


Economic Impact of Nodule Mining 

In attempting to predict the economic impact of nodule mining, 
variables other than the future metal production from nodules must be 
considered. Two such variables are the future metal production from 
traditional sources and projected demand for these metals. Supply and 
demand are also related to price. One method of assessing the economic 
impact of nodule mining is to estimate the degree of market penetra- 
tion or share of the market each metal produced from nodules is likely 
to have. The assumption is made that supply will equal total 

Projections of demand for the four major metals recovered from 
manganese nodules vary widely from one source to another. Projections 
compiled for the House Subcommittee on Oceanography by the Con- 
gressional Research Service are presented in Table 7. 24 Unless new uses 
for cobalt can be found, demand for this metal is likely to remain small. 
Output from nodule mining could significantly affect the cobalt 
market. By 1985 U.S. nationals recovering 7 million tons of dry nodules 
would be able to satisfy nearly two-thirds of projected U.S. needs for 
cobalt and more than one-third of world demand. 

24 U.S. Congress. House. Commitee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Deep seabed hard 
minerals. Hearings before the Subcommitee on Oceanography on H.R. 9 and H.R. 7732. 
93d Cong. Mar. 1, 28, 29, Apr. 3, 1973, and H.R. 12233 Feb. 26, 27, 28, 1974. Washington, 
D.C., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. 1974, p. 347. 
















f*» 9>CM 


OlO oo 




csj r~ us R.*^ 

0-><£0*r C 

r-. oo -<£> oj 

:= locsj -= 













.E S 


m 5 a) 

I! I 

E-; 2 

"5S < 



According to recent statements by Deepsea Ventures, pure manga- 
nese metal will not be recovered from nodules but other high purity 
forms of manganse will be produced. The demand for high purity 
forms of manganese of greater value than high carbon ferromanga- 
nese is relatively low, although greater than the demand for pure man- 
ganese metal. One U.S. firm with the capability to produce one million 
tons (dry weight) of nodules per year intending to market manganese 
in the form of low or medium carbon ferromanganese could more than 
satisfy the projected U.S. demand in 1985 and approximately equal the 
U.S. demand in 2000. If the silicomanganese market were also entered, 
a larger manganese production could be marketed. In any event, the 
impact on the markets for these forms of manganese would be signifi- 
cant, but there would be relatively little impact on the much larger 
manganese ore and high carbon ferromanganese markets. 

The markets for copper and nickel are large enough that they will 
likely not be significantly affected by nodule mining in 1985. If U.S. 
mining ventures recovered 5 million tons of dry nodules per year, they 
would supply 18 percent of the projected U.S. demand for nickel in 
1985 and only 1.5 percent of the U.S. demand for copper. 

In projecting the value of metals processed from nodules to the 
U.S. economy in 1985 and 2000, the report for the National Ocean Pol- 
icy Study determined a value of $387 million by 1985 and $835 million 
by 2000 (Table 8). This projection assumed production of metallic 
manganese and a drop in the price of cobalt and manganese metal com- 
pared to Table 6. 



AND 2000 

[In 1973 dollars] 




short tons) 

(per ton) 


short tons) 

(per ton) 

























387 .. 


Source: The Economic Value of the Ocean Resources to the United States, op. cit., p. 26. 

Based on an assumed production of 15 million tons of dry nodules 
by 1985, the United Nations forecasted the impact on the world metals 
market. The United Nations forecast (Table 9) multiplied the metal 
recovery per million tons of dry nodules from Table 5 by 15. This 
calculation is valid mainly for nickel and copper which are the major 
metals of interest to the nodule industry. In the case of manganese, 
only two companies or groups have announced their intent ions to pro- 
duce this metal; consequently, estimates of manganese production are 
based on only 4 million tons of nodules. Manganese production could 


be higher than 920,000 tons if more companies recover the metal. On 
the other hand, the market for refined manganese is relatively small 
and not likely to be cost competitive with high carbon f erromanganese 
used in steelmaking. Consequently, since low purity manganese can- 
not compete with land ores and the additional cost of refining manga- 
nese from nodules will not justify the return for most companies, man- 
ganese production from nodules may be much lower than the U.N. 
estimate. Cobalt and minor metals are quite variable in nodules, and 
have relatively high concentrations in some deposits. Production of 
cobalt and other minor metals could be higher than the U.N. estimates 
in Table 9. 


[Thousand metric tons] 

Production from 

nodules as a 


percentage of 

Production from 

net import 

net import 



nodules as a 


requirement of 



percentage of 

of industrial 


from nodules 


world demand 

countries « 


Manganese 2 .. 


16, 400 














3 3, 600 




3 60 




1 Assuming that net import requirements would be proportionately the same as in 1972. 

2 Manganese recovery is assumed from only 4 million tons of nodules. 

3 Excluding the centrally planned economies. 

Source: United Nations, A/CONF.62/25, op. cit., p. 42. 

A working paper on the economic effects of deep seabed exploitation 
was submitted in 1974 by the United States delegation to the law of 
the Sea Conference in Caracas. This paper pointed out the interests of 
all consumers in encouraging seabed output and the unlikelihood that 
the income of existing producers would decrease even with seabed 
production. In some respects, this paper was a rebuttal to a few of the 
projections made in the recent economic report of the U.N. Secretary- 
General. 25 The U.S. working paper tabulated the approximate values 
of mineral production from each country and projected these to 1980 
and 1985 (Tables 10 and 11). Production from seabed mining was also 
estimated for 1980 and 1985. Particular reference is made to the 
production from developing countries (Group of 77) which have 
expressed great concern for the possible loss of export revenues and 
have taken a firm position at the Law of the Sea Conference for 
complete U.N. control of seabed mining. An important point high- 
lighted in Table 11 is that the projected income of individual land- 
based producers from their production of the four metals will increase 
significantly between the present and 1985, even with seabed mining. 

» United Nations, A/CONF. 62/25, op. cit, 92 p. 


[Dollar amounts in millions of 1971 dollars] 






Percent of 
world output 

1. Total... 


56, 125 



$6, 908 


II. Group of 77 countiies 







III. Other countries 


Nongroup of 77: 

United States 

1, 522 . 
720 . 
99 . 

' 76" 

2 ... 

































Union Soviet Socialist Republic 


South Africa 











6 .. 


Group of 77 producers: 









790 . 

718 . 
235 . 
230 . 



2 ... 




8 .. 



29 ... 
20 ... 
20 ... 








5 .. 



1 Note: See bottom Table 11 fcr source and romments. 

[Dollar amounts in millions of 1971 dollars] 


Copper Manganese 





Group of 77 producers: 




Other countries: 













$2, 602 



$2, 833 





















10, 779 


1 Countries are listed in rank order of the total value of the four metals in question. The countries listed produce at least 
1 percent of the world production of one of the metals listed. 

Source: Data is extrapolated from UNCTAD documents TD/B/449/Add 1; TD/B/484; TD/B/483; TD/113/Supp. 4; 
document A/Conf.62/25; and U.S. Department of the Interior 1971 "Minerals Yearbook." 



Based on recent information regarding participation by U.S. firms 
and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign interests in international consortia 
and U.S. Bureau of Mines projections of annual increases in domestic 
demand for the metals contained in nodules. 26 another projection can 
be made of the benefit to the United States from nodule mining op- 
erations. The Bureau of Mines projections of annual increases in do- 
mestic demand through 1980 are extended at the same rate through 
1985 and 2000. These projections are: managanese 2 percent, nickel 3 
percent, copper 3.5 percent, and cobalt 3 percent. While this extension 
is somewhat speculative, it is probably within the acceptable range. 
Straight projection of these annual increases in demand lead to esti- 
mates of domestic consumption in 1985 of 420,000 short tons of silico- 
manganese plus low and medium carbon ferromanganese, 340,000 tons 
nickel, 3,400,000 tons copper, and 13,000 tons cobalt. These projections 
are generally lower than those cited previously as they place more em- 
phasis on current economic conditions. On the other hand, newer pro- 
jections by the Bureau of Mines indicate that U.S. demand for some 
of these metals by 1985 and the year 2000 may even be lower. 27 

All of the international consortia have U.S. participants who control 
from approximately 20 to over 50 percent of the consortium. Assuming 
recovery rates of 3 million tons of nodules per year for each consortium 
(Deepsea Ventures announced in its Notice of Claim, Appendix D, 
that it contemplates future recovery of approximately this amount ) , 
the total amount of nodules processed and marketed by U.S. firms in 
1985 could range from 4 to 5 million tons (Table 12). An additional 
.5 to 1.0 million tons, representing the share of U.S. subsidiaries of 
foreign firms, could also be added to the domestic market. Using a 
recovery of 5 million tons the following estimates of the percent of 
U.S. consumption in 1985 supplied from nodule mining by U.S. in- 
terests are made: 95 percent of the domestic demand for low and 
medium carbon ferromanganese plus silicoman^anese, nickel 18 per- 
cent, copper 1.5 percent, and cobalt 92 percent (Table 13) . 


Total nodules 

controlled by 

U.S. interests 

Company (million tons) 

U.S. firms.. 4-5 

Deepsea Ventures 

Essex Iron 





U.S. subsidiaries .5-1 

Union Mines 
International Nickel Co. 
Total U.S. firms and subsidiaries (million tons) 4. 5-6 

In 1985 commercial deep seabed mining would still be in fairly early 
stages and could be expected to expand rapidly through the year 2000. 
Although highly speculative at this time, nodule recovery by U.S. 
interests in the year 2000 is projected here at 10 million tons annually, 

M U.S. Bureau of Mines. Community Data Summaries 1976. U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1976. 
p. 43. 47, 99, 113. 

27 U.S. Bureau of Mines, Mineral Facts and Problems, 1975 edition. In press. 


c o 
01 o. 

E « 
o -jg 

,£; a) 

o • o 


«> o c 0> = . 

E o> £ o C 




in ^002: 
o> cnj a> 


0>CM o 







csi cr> cri ori 

E . 

o c 

o — 


= 2§ 

E $•? 

E ^.2 

.22 o Q-° 
^5- o o 


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o S&o 

00^ - 



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*• O «. 

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resulting in reductions in the projected levels of imports of 90 percent 
for the manganese materials selected, 31 percent of the nickel imports, 
10.4 percent of the copper imported, and cobalt could be produced 
for export if not substituted for nickel in some uses to further reduce 
nickel imports. 

These estimates are based on those companies that at this point 
in time are probably the most likely U.S. interests to be participating 
in commercial nodule mining operations by 1985. The U.S. partici- 
pants in the CLB Group are not included, as that consortium was 
formed for exploration and development only, but not for commercial 
exploitation as a joint venture. However, the U.S. participants in the 
CLB Group may join consortia not yet announced, or existing con- 
sortia and, consequently, might also be involved in commercial nodule 
mining operations by 1985. Lockheed has developed nodule mining 
and processing systems, but the future role of Lockheed in deep sea- 
bed mining is still uncertain, However, it is assumed that if the invest- 
ment security is favorable enough for other U.S. firms to enter into 
commercial nodule recovery, Lockheed will probably also be able to 
attract financing and possibly other U.S. firms as partners. For these 
reasons the estimates of metals recovered from nodules by U.S. firms 
in 1985 arrived at a Table 13 may be minimum amounts. The projec- 
tions to the year 2000 assume roughly a doubling of the 1985 level of 
nodule recovery by U.S. interests. 

Imports of manganese ore and standard (high carbon) ferromanga- 
nese account for the bulk of the U.S. demand for manganese and these 
imports would not likely be reduced by more than a few percent as 
the manganese materials produced from nodules would not compete 
in these lower priced markets. Based on 1975 prices, the above projec- 
tion of nodule mining could supply the United States with approxi- 
mately $0.8 billion per year in metals by the year 2000. Nodule mining 
by other countries or foreign shares in consortia could likely total 
three to five times this amount per year by then. 


Over 40 percent of the nickel consumed is used in stainless steel 
alloys to increase strength and corrosion resistance. Nickel-alloy steels 
are used in high temperature applications such as jet engines and tur- 
bines. Other uses include electroplating, resistance alloys in electrical 
equipment, pollution control equipment, chemical industry, and pe- 
troleum refining. World-wide consumption has increased at an average 
rate of about 6.5 percent per year over the last 25 years and prospects 
for a continued annual increase of at least 6 percent are likely. 28 

In 1974, 73 percent of the U.S. demand for nickel was supplied by 
imports (Fig. 15). Consumption was reported at 273,000 short tons 
(including scrap) . During the period 1971-74 the major import sources 
were : Canada 68 percent, Norway 8 percent, New Caledonia 6 percent, 
Dominican Republic 5 percent, and others 13 percent (Norway's raw 
material was nickel-copper matte from Canada). 29 The United States 
produces only about 7 percent of its nickel requirements and recycles 

» United Nations A/CONF. 62/25, op. cit., p. 34. 

29 U.S. Bureau of Mines. Commodity Data Summaries 1976, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 
Washington, D.C. 1976, p. 112. 


about 24 percent from scrap. Consumer stocks are estimated at 37,000 
short tons of metal. Nickel is not currently stockpiled by the U.S. 

U.S. Bureau of Mines projections indicate domestic demand for 
nickel is expected to increase at an annual rate of about 3 percent 
through 1980. 30 Domestic production is expected to remain at the level 
set in the last 5 years. Barring unforeseen shortages and future cartels 
(see section on possible cartel action) supplies should be available 
from relatively secure foreign sources at prices comparable to those 
now prevailing. In 1972. the United States imported 24.6 percent of 
the world nickel production and produced 2.4 percent. World mine 
production and reserves are given in Table 14. 


Mine Production 






Grade of ore 

United States 


16, 500 
285, 000 
140, 000 
200, 000 

35, 000 
145, 000 

200, 000 

9, 600, 000 

26, 000, 000 

16, 100, 000 

3, 400, 000 

4, 200, 000 



New Caledonia 


142, 800 


Other market economy countries 


Central economy countries 




0. 2-4. 


0. 4-4. 

World total 


821, 500 

59,500,000 .._ 

i Estimate. 

Source: Commodity Data Summaries 1976, op. cit., p. 113. 

There would appear to be no world supply problem to the year 2000 
since the probable reserves at current prices are three times the proba- 
ble cumulative demand. Supply is concentrated in a few industrialized 
countries. Canada, the Soviet Union, and France (New Caledonia) 
accounted for 74 percent of the world mine production in 1972. Devel- 
oping countries produced less than 13 percent of the world total in 
1972 but their output has been increasing. Developing countries may 
be assumed to produce as much as 20 percent of the world's nickel by 
1985. 31 

Using the assumptions it developed, the U.N. report (A/CONF.62/ 
25) estimated that world nickel production from nodules might ac- 
count for about 18 percent of the total demand by 1985, Table 9. 
This degree of market penetration may depress prices somewhat but 
may not seriously affect traditional producers. High cost projects 
may not be developed. The working paper of the U.S. delegation 
to the Law of the Sea Conference pointed out that even with seabed 
mining, land based production will need to increase nearly 70 percent 
from the 1972 production level to meet anticipated demand by 1985. 
The U.S. working paper suggests that such a large increase in demand 
can be expected to result in increased prices such that a number of 
high cost land deposits which were marginal may become economically 
feasible. Furthermore, 30 percent of the increase in land production 
would come from developing countries. 

30 Ibid., p. 113. 

» United Nations. A/CONF.62/25, op. cit., p. M. 

65-675 O - 76 







MICA (sheet) 



TITANIUM [rutilc] 



ALUMINUM (ores & metal) 




















PETROLEUM (mc. Nat. Gas l.q.) 


TITANIUM (.Imenite) 





MAGNESIUM (nonmetallic) 



0* 3514 50 

L , ■ 1 1 

* 75% IOC 
1 1 


if ■■^■^■■1 

a, ■BM^M^B 

4ii ^mmmmmm 

, wmmmi^^m 

n wmmmmmm 

»- m^mamm^ j 

?1 ™ B "" B 

->i mm—m 

21 ^"^™ 



7H 1 

e,m i 

*■ i 

A* 1 








































U.S. DEMAND IN 1974 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Mines. Minerals and Materials/a monthly survey. U.S. Govt. 
Print. Office, Washington, D.C., December 1975, p. 6. 


Because of its electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance, copper 
is used extensively in electrical equipment, wire, tubing and sheeting, 
and in alloys. World wide demand for copper has been increasing at 
an average annual rate of 5 percent for the past 2 decades. Prospects 
for a continued increase in demand on the order of 4 to 5 percent per 
year are considered good through the end of the century. 32 Copper is 
mined in 56 countries. Industrial countries are the largest producers 
and consumers with 46 percent of the total mined in 1972 coming from 
the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union. Developing coun- 
tries are the leading exporters, producing 42 percent of the 1972 world 
mine tonnage. In 1972, the United States produced 23 percent of the 
world production of copper and imported 2.4 percent of the world 

In 1974, 18 percent of the U.S. demand for copper was supplied 
from imports. Consumption was reported at 2,194,000 short tons and 
252,000 tons were released from the Government stockpile in 1974. 

w Ibid. p. 36. 


During the period 1971-74 major import sources were : Canada 33 per- 
cent, Peru 22 percent, Chile 17 percent, Republic of South Africa 6 
percent, and others 22 percent. 33 Approximately 20 percent of the cop- 
per consumed by the United States in 1974 was recycled from scrap. 
Producer stocks of refined copper are estimated by the Bureau of Mines 
at about 45,000 tons. Under authorization to dispose of the entire 
amount, the Government stockpile of copper was reduced close to zero 
in 1974. Sources of supply for the United States are relatively secure. 
Shortages of copper relative to demand in the United States have devel- 
oped in the past due to a number of factors including: (1) A surge in 
world demand, (2) disruptions of production in Chile, Canada, and 
Belgium, (3) some curtailment in domestic output to meet air quality 
standards, (4) transport problems in Canada and Zambia, and (5) the 
effect of U.S. economic controls coupled with increasing world prices. 

A summary of world production and copper reserves is listed in 
Table 15. 

[In thousands of short tons of copper] 

Mine production 





United States 





90, 000 

Australia -- 


10, 000 



40, 000 



86, 000 

Peru . .. 


30, 000 



16, 000 



20, 000 



30, 000 



40, 000 



88, 000 

World total 


450, 000 

1 Estimate. 

Source: Commodity Data Summaries 1976, op. cit., p. 47. 

The Bureau of Mines estimates hypothetical resources, located near 
known deposits, probably contain an additional 480 million tons of 
copper and a speculative 320 million tons is assigned to areas not yet 
prospected. It would appear that copper produced from manganese 
nodules would have only a minimal effect on copper supply and no 
effect on price. 

At an increase in demand of 4 to 5 percent per annum as projected 
in the U.N. Secretary-General's report, world production would 
amount to nearly 15 million short tons or roughly twice current pro- 
duction by 1985. Consequently, nodule production is expected to have 
a very minor impact on the copper market, yielding only 200,000 tons 
or 1.3 percent of the total consumption (Table 9). Imports of copper 
by the industrial countries are likely to remain at around one-third of 
their consumption by 1985. The U.S. Bureau of Mines projects domes- 
tic demand for copper to increase at an average annual growth rate of 
3.5 percent through 1980. 


More than 90 percent of the world production of manganese is used 
in steel making primarily as a scavenger for removing sulfur, oxygen, 

88 Commodity Data Summaries 1975, op. cit., p. 44. 


and trace impurities. Used as an alloy, manganese makes steel more 
resistant to shock or abrasion. Metallurgical ore and ferromanganese 
are the manganese materials most commonly used in steel making. The 
market for high purity forms of manganese is relatively small. Be- 
cause of processing difficulties, high purity forms of manganese are 
the only forms of manganese expected to he marketed from nodules. 

All of the manganese consumed in the United States in 1974 was 
either imported or released from government stockpile. Domestic pro- 
duction ceased in 1970 and there is essentially no recycling of manga- 
nese metal. During the period 1971-74 the major import sources of 
manganese ore were : Brazil 35 percent, Gabon 31 percent, Australia 9 
percent. Republic of South Africa 8 percent, and others 17 percent. 
During the same period import sources of ferromanganese were: 
France 39 percent, Republic of South Africa 36 percent. India 8 
percent, and others 17 percent. Total producer and consumer stocks 
are estimated by the Bureau of Mines to be about 1,500,000 short 
tons of manganese ore, which typically ranges from 35 to 54 percent 
manganese, and 250,000 tons of ferromanganese at 74 to 95 percent 
manganese. Industrial consumption in the United States in 1974 was 
1,880,000 tons of manganese ore and 1,115,000 tons of ferromanganese. 
With regard to the manganese materials in the price range of materials 
that would likely be produced from nodules, U.S. consumption of low 
and medium carbon ferromanganese was 159,659 short tons in 1974 
and consumption of silicomanganese was 177,166 short tons. The 
Bureau of Mines estimates domestic demand for manganese will 
increase at an annual rate of approximately 2 percent through 1980. 

Several manganese materials are inventoried in the Government 
stockpile (Table 16). Assuming a requirement of 13 pounds of manga- 
nese per ton of raw steel produced, and an annual steel production of 
120 million tons, the amount in the Government stockpile can be cal- 
culated to last about 3 years. World mine production and reserves 
are given in Table 17. Reserves alone are more than adequate to meet 
expected world demand for the balance of the century. Known land- 
based resources are very large and irregularly distributed throughout 
the world. The Bureau of Mines estimates U.S. resources could satisfy 
expected domestic demand for manganese to the year 2000. However, 
because these resources are much more expensive to process than 
foreign ores, domestic production has ceased. 





Total excess 

Available for 

10 months 


Natural ore 

Synthetic dioxide 












400 . 
18 . 

8 . 

9 . 

2 .. 

112 .. 



Type A ore 

Type B ore 

Metallurgical ore. 


High carbon 







Medium carbon 



Electrolytic metal 



Source: Ibid., p. 96. 


[in thousands of short tons of manganese] 

Mine production 

Country 1974 1975 » Reserves 

United States... 

Australia 1,678 1,800 330,000 

Brazil 2,000 2,000 95,000 

Gabon.... 2,357 2,400 210,000 

India.. 1,595 1,500 65,000 

South Africa, Republic of 4,129 4,500 2,200,000 

Other market economy countries.. 1,716 1,600 30,000 

Central economy countries 10,700 11,000 3,000,000 

Worldtotal 24,175 24,800 6,000,000 

i Estimate. 

Source: Commodity Data Summaries 1976, p. 99. 

Demand for manganese is considered relatively stable and not likely 
to increase rapidly with increased supplies. The U.N. Secretary-Gen- 
eral's report expects manganese demand to continue to increase at 
about 5 percent per year reaching approximately 16.4 million tons of 
manganese-in-ore by 1985. Estimates of manganese production from 
nodules are tenuous, but assuming recovery of 920.000 tons by 1985 
as estimated by the U.N. report, this would amount to 5.6 percent of 
the estimated world demand of manganese in ore. However, since 
manganese from nodules is expected to be marketed only as premium 
priced manganese materials, this amount of production would approxi- 
mately satisfy the world demand for these materials. Only if the pure 
metal could be marketed at a price competitive with standard high 
carbon ferromanganese would greater production from nodules be 

Developing countries currently produce about 56 percent of the 
world's manganese. According to the Secretary-General's report these 
countries may be expected to feel a significant impact from nodule 
mining. However, as the U.S. working paper pointed out. the Secre- 
tary-General's report failed to fully consider the uses of manganese 
and the market for manganese metal (primarily the small likelihood 
that ferromanganese from nodules would significantly replace high 
carbon ferromanganese or manganese ore in steelmaking). It seems un- 
likely that the assumption in the Secretary-General's report of a sig- 
nificant impact on land-based manganese producers from nodule min- 
ing will be realized. The only country where manganese is a significant 
export factor is Gabon, where it is 20 percent of the total value of the 
exports. Manganese represents 2 percent or less of the value of the ex- 
ports from each of the other developing country producers (Brazil. 
India, Zaire, Ghana, and Morocco). 


Cobalt has important magnetic and chemical properties, and is 
resistant to high temperatures. Although it is used in a variety of 
industrial products, it has a relatively small market. At lower prices, 
cobalt could substitute for a number of other metals such as nickel in 


a variety of uses. Cobalt is primarily produced as a by-product of 
copper and nickel refining. 

Imports supplied over 98 percent of the U.S. demand for cobalt in 
1974. U.S. consumption totaled 9,431 short tons. Shipments from gov- 
ernment stockpiles were reported at 4,468 short tons and 135 short tons 
or a little over one percent of the domestic cobalt consumption was re- 
covered from scrap. Domestic mine production ceased in 1971. The 
major import sources during the period 1971-74 were: Zaire 47 per- 
cent, Belgium-Luxembourg 29 percent, Finland 7 percent, Norway 7 
percent, Canada 4 percent, Zambia 2 percent, and others 4 percent. The 
U.S. Bureau of Mines estimates consumer stocks of about 1,000 tons of 
metal. The Government stockpile status report for November 30, 1975, 
listed an objective of 5,972 tons of cobalt with a total inventory of 
23,448 tons and an excess of 17,476 tons. At a consumption rate of 
9,000 tons per year, the stockpile inventory would yield less than a 
3-year supply and the objective would last 8 months. The U.S. demand 
for cobalt is projected by the Bureau of Mines to increase about 2.6 
percent per year through 1980. 

World mine production and reserves are summarized in Table 18. 
Two-thirds of the world's production comes from Zaire; however, 
increasing amounts are expected to come from other countries such 
as the Philippines, Australia, New Caledonia, Canada, and Zambia. 
Present land reserves are twice the cumulative world demand to the 
year 2000. The identified cobalt resources of the United States are 
estimated by the Bureau of Mines at more than 840,000 tons and 
world resources at more than 5,000,000 tons. 

TABLE 18.- 

[In tons of cobalt] 

Mine production 





Grade of ore 
Quantity (percent) 



New Caledonia and Australia *... 





190, 000 0. 03-0. 06 

14,000 1.6 

740, 000 0. 1-5. 


19, 340 

750, 000 0. 3-2. 


Other market economy countries 



380, 000 0. 05-0. 25 
25, 000 0. 1 

Central economy countries 


l 600, 000 0. 07-0. 1 

World total 





According to the projections in the Secretary-General's report, 
world demand for cobalt is expected to increase 6 to 8 percent per year 
through 1985. From this, the report concludes that world demand may 
reach 60,000 tons by 1985 with 30,000 tons recovered from nodules. 
Consequently, the price will start falling once cobalt recovered from 


nodules reaches the market. Cobalt produced from domestic mining 
operations, recovering a total of 7 million tons of nodules per year, 
would assure a domestic source for all the U.S. needs to the year 2000. 

Long-Term Economic Prospects of Nodule Mining 

Sustained long-term development of the nodule industry will de- 
pend on its position relative to other sources of metal supply such as* 
recycling and land mining. Technological developments, possible insti- 
tutional constraints, and market conditions all affect the relative com- 
petitive position of metals supply. Industry sources indicate that the 
first generation of nodule mining will likely be very profitable. Once 
the industry expands into a second generation of investment and tech- 
nology, possible declines in revenues may not be offset by reductions 
in cost. Once a metal becomes abundant, its price will fall to the level 
of its most important substitute. 

If half of the world demand is supplied from nodule mining by 
1985, cobalt is likely to be one of the first price casualties. Its price 
would eventually fall to the price level of nickel. High purity man- 
ganese materials are also vulnerable. One nodule operation of one 
million tons per year could supply a large fraction of the projected 
world demand for premium manganese materials by 1980. If this 
amount of high purity manganese could be marketed economically, it 
would likely cause the substitution of premium manganese materials in 
other uses as the price fell. Molybdenum may also be supplied from 
nodules in great abundance relative to demand. Possibly declining 
prices of cobalt, manganese, and molybdenum are not expected to 
affect severely the profitability of the nodule mining industry. Profits 
will be based mainly on nickel and copper. Nickel and copper from 
nodules would least affect their world markets and would remain the 
long-term profit basis of the nodule mining industry. 

Although not precisely known, the extent of the world-wide ferro- 
manganese nodule reserves bears mention. Reserves are currently 
estimated to be on the order of 1.5 trillion tons in the Pacific Ocean 
alone. 34 Unlike many resources, ferromanganese nodules are currently 
forming. The rate of formation in the Pacific Ocean has been estimated 
at 6 to 10 million tons per year. 35 Most of the nodules are not economi- 
cally minable. Consequently, the minable reserves are probably on the 
order of 10 billion to 500 billion tons. 36 For comparison, future mining 
operations could be expected to recover 15 to 20 million tons per year 
by the end of the next decade. One estimate of the reserves of metals 
in manganese nodules of the Pacific Ocean and the number of years 
these might last at the consumption rate of 1960 is given in Table 19. 

34 Mero, J. L. Potential economic value of ocean-floor manganese nodule deposits. In 
Ferromanganese Deposit* on the Ocean Floor, Horn, D. R., ed., IDOE, National Science 
Foundation, Washington, D.C. 1972 : 191-203. 

35 Time, July 29, 1974. p. 57. 
M Mero, op. cit., p. 202. 




U.S. rate 

Rate of 

Ratio of 



of con- 


(rate of 

Ratio of 

In nodules 



tion of 




at con- 


Ratio of 

of element 




of element 




in 1960 * 

in nodules 

(rate of 


in nodules 

rate of 


in nodules) 






1960 2 

elements 3 


of tons per 

of tons per 




of tons) » 



on land) 







600, 000 








20, 000 









2, 000, 000 


N .30 






400, 000 








400, 000 


















200, 000 









150, 000 

























Gallium . 


150,000 . 
+100, 000 



1.0 . 
5.0 . 






30, 000 













. 00003 

.005 . 










1 All tonnages in metric units. 

2 Amount available in the nodules divided by the consumption rate. 

3 Calculated as the element in metric tons. (From U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 556). 

4 Calculated as the element in metric tons. 

5 Present reserves so large as to be essentially unlimited at present rates of consumption. 

6 Including deposits of iron that are at present considered marginal. 

Source: Mero, op. cit., p. 196. 


Government involvement in deep ocean mining can be grouped into 
three major categories. The most common activities are: (1) direct 
sponsorship or funding of research and development: (2) direct ven- 
ture in mining or processing; and (3) indirect sponsorship through 
use of government facilities, taxation advantages, or university aid. 

United States 

Government activity in nodule research in the United States has 
been carried out by the Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Geological Survey, 
the Xational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
the Naval Research Laboratory, and the National Science Foundation. 
Some of the research programs have been discussed previously. The 
research effort of the Bureau of Mines has involved recovery of metals 
from nodules. The interests of the U.S. Geological Survey in the deep 
seabed have been directed mainly toward assessing the mineral poten- 
tial of nodule deposits and determining their composition and origin. 
Recently, on February 25, 1975, the Department of Interior announced 
the formation of an Ocean Mining Administration to develop plans 
for regulating U.S. ocean mining companies. The research funded by 
XOAA primarily involves environmental concerns. The Xaval Re- 
search Laboratory is developing underwater photographic techniques 
and improved camera technology to provide greater capabilities for 
future exploration. The Xational Science Foundation is sponsoring 
participation by the United States in the International Decade of 
Ocean Exploration (IDOE). The funding for the IDOE ferroman- 
ganese nodule program is mainly being distributed to universities and 
institutions for research in nodule formation and chemistry. 

Foreign Government Activities 

Several countries are actively interested or engaged in ferroman- 
ganese nodule mining. The following is a brief summary of activities 
reported in recent years. 


Australia's Bureau of Mineral Resources has been conducting re- 
search on manganese nodules. The naval vessel R/V Diamantina was 
used to dredge for nodules along a 200-mile stretch of the 39th parallel 
in June 1972. 1 


The government of the Federal Republic of Germany supported a 
joint venture, of Preussag and Metallgesellschaft in 1969 to study and 

1 ECAFE, Report of the Committee for Co-ordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral 
7£ 8 ,V£ C ?2 i n South Paci A c Off-shore Areas. (CCOP/SOPAC), 1st session, November 1972 
(H//C.N.11/L.343), 1972, p. 34. 



explore for manganese nodules. Preussage, Metallgesellschaft, Salzgit- 
ter and Rheinisehe Braunkohlenwerke formed Arbeitsgemeinschaft 
Meerestechnischgewinnbare Rohstoffe (AMR) to carry out explora- 
tion cruises in the Pacific under government subsidy. The West Ger- 
man government provided funds to charter Deepsea Venture's R/V 
Prospector in 1970 and 1971. Since private firms converted a stern 
trawler to the nodule exploration, vessel, R/V Valdivia, in 1972, the 
West German Ministry for Education and Science has charted the ship 
for four years to conduct a comprehensive nodule survey. Several 
cruises are planned in the nodule belt southeast of Hawaii. A sister 
ship is being built with government subsidies. The AMR group is also 
being subsidized for a nodule mining feasibility study. 


The Centre National pour l'Exploitation des Oceans (CNEXO) 
is sponsoring engineering research on a modified version of the CLB 
mining system. CNEXO in association with Soeiete Le Nickel has 
also been engaged in extensive exploration for nodules in the South 
Pacific in the general vicinity of French Polynesia using the Tahiti- 
based research vessel Le Norit. 2 The French Atomic Energy Commis- 
sion is conducting research on nodule processing techniques. 


Government activity in Japan has been extensive in sponsoring nod- 
ule exploration and research and development of mining and metal- 
lurgical processing. The Industrial Science and Technology Agency 
subsidized Sumitomo Shoji and Sumitomo Shipbuilding and Machin- 
ery in 1968 to conduct tests of a small-scale CLB system. The Ministry 
of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has subsidized the Su- 
mitomo group several times since 1970 to carry out research on and to 
develop, automatically detachable buckets for the CLB system. Su- 
mitomo Metal Mining received a subsidy in 1972 to construct a test 
plant and conduct research and development on nodules processing. 
Government participation will increase with the recently proposed 
venture of government and industry. Thirty leading Japanese com- 
panies have formed a Deep Ocean Mining Association (DOMA) to 
advise MITI on the technology for mining and processing manganese 
nodules. 3 Funds will be allocated by industry and government in 1976 
or 1977. DOMA has a caretaker staff provided by Sumitomo Metal 
Mining. A sophisticated new mining vessel the Hakurei Maru, is ready 
to conduct nodule surveys and DOMA expects to begin commercial 
operations in 1980. 


The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is studying 
the distribution and chemical composition of manganese nodules and 
coatings. 4 

2 CNEXO annual report, Paris, 1972. 

3 Metals Week, June 11, 1973, p. 2. 
* ECAFE, op. cit., p. 34 



The Soviet Union has been actively engaged in manganese nodule 
exploration and research since the 1950's. Large numbers of photos and 
samples of nodules have been obtained. Several technical papers have 
appeared in Soviet scientific journals over the years describing the 
mineralogy, chemistry, and internal structure of the nodules, their dis- 
tribution, and hypotheses of origin. 5 Earlier expeditions using the 
R/V Vityaz, were mainly concentrated in the Pacific and Indian 
Oceans while later investigations have extended into the Atlantic 
Ocean. In 1971, the Soviet bloc set up an International Coordinating 
Center of Marine Exploration in the Soviet Union. 

Although the Soviets have dredged many nodule samples from 
the deep seabed for study purposes, there seems to be little progress 
toward commercial exploitation. One reason may be that the USSR 
is essentially self sufficient or a major exporter of the major metals 
contained in manganese nodules (nickel, copper, cobalt, and manga- 
nese). Consequently, developing expensive technology to recover these 
metals from the deep seabed would not be as pressing a concern to 
the USSR as it would be to other countries more dependent on im- 
ports of these metals. 

On the Soviet shelf, low grade manganese nodules have been dis- 
covered in the Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Riga. In some areas of the 
shelf they are reported to exceed 3,500 tons per square kilometer. 6 


The British Department of Trade and Industry has offered financial 
support to the two British members of the recently formed Kennecott 
group. The British firms are Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. and Consolidated 
Gold Fields Ltd. These firms would repay the loan if the venture is 
profitable, and would get first call on their 30 percent share of the 
metals produced. 7 


Although several Canadian firms including International Nickel 
Company (INCO), Noranda Mines Ltd., and Cominco Ltd., are par- 
ticipants in international consortia to mine manganese nodules from 
the ocean floor, no government funds appear to be involved. 

5 Skornyakova, N. S. and P. F. Andrusphchenko. Iron-manganese Nodules from the Cen- 
tral Part of the South Pacific. Oceanologrj, v, 8, n. 5, 1968, pp. 692-701. 
8 Sovetskaia Latviia, November 24, 1968, p 4. 
7 Metals Week, Feb. 4, 1974, p. 6. 


Confronting the Issues 

On August 17, 1967, the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United 
Nations proposed in a note verbale that the 22nd U.N. General Assem- 
bly scheduled to convene the following month place on its agenda the 
following item : 

Declaration and treaty concerning the reservation exclusively for peaceful 
purposes of the seabed and of the ocean floor, underlying the seas beyond the 
limits of present national jurisdiction, and the use of their resources in the 
interests of mankind. 

The accompanying explanatory memorandum proposed that the 
seabed and ocean floor are a common heritage of mankind and the net 
financial benefits derived from the use and exploitation of the seabed 
and of the ocean floor shall be used primarily to promote the develop- 
ment of poor countries. The memorandum proposed that an interna- 
tional agency should be created to administer and control exploitation 
of the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. 

Many countries saw this as a welcome opportunity to gain a share 
of an immense wealth if the technology could be developed to recover 
it. As the poorer countries were in no position to develop the expensive 
and sophisticated technology to exploit the seabed resources, this pro- 
posal to benefit directly from the ability of the technologically ad- 
vanced nations had widespread support. The extent of this wealth was 
poorly defined, but the developing nations generally assumed that the 
seabed contained vast resources of oil and minerals that could help 
bring them to an economic par with the developed nations. 

The sudden popularity of the Malta proposal was due to the timeli- 
ness of its presentation in the United Nations. The concept had been 
previously developed by the United States but had received little 
notice. In 1966, President Johnson said : 

Under no circumstances, we believe, must we ever allow the prospect of rich 
harvest and mineral wealth to create a new form of colonial competition among 
the maritime nations. We must be careful to avoid a race to grab and to hold the 
lands under the high seas. We must insure that the deep seas and the ocean 
bottoms are, and remain, the legacy of all human beings. 1 

Legislative Concern in the 90th Coxgress 

Although the U.S. delegation supported the Maltese proposal, the 
possibility of the United Nations taking immediate action to reserve 
the seabed beyond national jurisdiction for the common heritage of 
mankind aroused the concern of many members of Congress. Nearly 
two dozen resolutions were introduced into Congress during the months 
of August and September 19f>7 expressing opposition to the control of 
deep ocean resources by an international authority. Congressional en- 
dorsements of the Malta proposal were much less numerous. 

1 Speech given at the commissioning of the research ship Occanographcr, at the Washing- 
ton Navy Yard on July 13, lOfifi. 



In the House, most of the resolutions relating to this issue were 
referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and assigned to the 
Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements. Hear- 
ings were held in September and October 1967 and jointly with the 
Subcommittee on Oceanography of the House Committee on Merchant 
Marine and Fisheries in June and July 1968. 2 Senate hearings were 
held by the Committee on Foreign Relations. 3 There was generally 
more support for the Malta proposal in the Senate than in the House. 

Opposition to U.N. action at this time arose from concern that 
seabed resources were too poorly known and the United States might 
be denying itself valuable assets. Delay was suggested pending the 
resolution of the entire question of the limits of national jurisdiction. 
In addition, some doubt was expressed whether the United Nations 
could effectively administer the vast area of the ocean floor. 

Supporters suggested that the Malta proposal would lead to con- 
servation of mineral resources, avoidance of possible conflicts arising 
from a wild scramble to claim and exploit the seabed, controls on 
marine pollution, reduced threat of military use of the seabed, inde- 
pendent income for the United Nations, and a general strengthening 
and maturity in the United Nations through experience gained in 
administering the ocean floor. 

Legislative Concern in the 9 1st Congress 

Several committees in the 91st Congress examined issues related to 
the limits of the continental shelf and jurisdiction of the seabed 
resources beyond the shelf. The Senate Foreign Relations Subcom- 
mittee on Ocean Space, chaired by Senator Claiborne Pell, heard 
testimony on S. Res. 33. This Resolution, submitted by Senator Pell, 
proposed a set of basic principles governing activities of states in 
developing and exploiting the ocean space. The principles called for 
the use of the seabed and subsoil for peaceful purposes only, under 
licenses issued by authority of the United Nations; regulations on the 
disposal of radioactive waste material in the ocean ; the establishment 
of a Sea Guard under the control of the U.N. Security Council ; and 
a definition of the limits of the continental shelves. 

Hearings were also held by the Special Study on United Nations 
Suboceanic Lands Policy of the Senate Committee on Commerce. This 
study group, chaired by Senator Ernest F. Hollings, was formed in 
July 1969 to consider "the policy which the United States should 
advocate within the United Nations when that organization considers 
the ground rules which should apply to those nations which desire to 
exploit the resources of the deep oceans." 4 

A third set of hearings was held by the Special Subcommittee on 
Outer Continental Shelf created by Senator Henry M. Jackson, chair - 

2 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. The United Nations and the issue 
of deep ocean resources ; interim report together with hearings. Held by the Subcommittee 
on International Organizations and Movements of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on 
H.J. Res. 816 and companion resolutions, Sept. 22. Oct. 10, 19. 25, and 31. 1967. 90th Cong., 
1st sess., H. Rept. No. 999. Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1967. 289 p. 

3 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations. Governing the use of ocean 
space. Hearings on S.J. Res. Ill, S. Res. 172, and S. Res. 196. Held Nov. 29, 1967. 90th 
Confr., 1st sess., Washington. DC. U.S. Govt. Print Off.. 1967, 71 p. 

*U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Commerce. Special Study on United Nations Sub- 
oceanic Lands Policy. Hearings held Sept. 23. 24. Oct. 3, and Nov. 21, 1969. 91st Cong., 
1st sess., Washington, D.C., U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1970. 


man of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. This Subcom- 
mittee chaired by Senator Lee Metcalt, began a comprehensive series 
of hearings in 1^69 and 1970 to, as Senator Metcalf stated, "clarify 
and make more visible the issues related to the proper resolution of 
the questions associated with the development of a sound shelf and 
seabed resource policy." 5 Following a closed session with members 
of the Executive agencies and the scientific community, the Special 
Subcommittee held several open hearings to consider legal issues, 
economic issues, industry reaction, views of interested citizens groups, 
testimony from Members of Congress, Administration policy, and the 
U.S. draft working paper to the U.N. Seabed Committee. These hear- 
ings were systematically analyzed and the findings and conclusions 
presented in the Subcommittee's report to the Committee on Interior 
and Insular Affairs. 6 

The Subcommittee adopted the wide-shelf position advanced by the 
American Bar Association, the National Petroleum Council, and the 
American Branch of the International Law Association. This inter- 
pretation of the 1958 Geneva Convention held that the definition of the 
seaward limits of the continental shelf contained in the Convention 
were sufficiently precise and required no amendment. Furthermore, 
reopening the Geneva Convention might be disadvantageous to the 
United States as Xorthcutt Ely, representing the American Bar Asso- 
ciation, suggested, "All we know for sure is that a new law of the sea 
conference will be dominated by nations that have no interest in this 
subject except to take away from the coastal nations as much of the 
minerals of the continental margin as they can get.'' 7 An American 
Bar Association report presented by Mr. Ely stated, "an agreement 
carried by a majority of small States might embody principles un- 
acceptable to the United States, yet which would be difficult to dis- 
regard if formally adopted by such a conference." 8 

Although the Subcommittee on Outer Continental Shelf endorsed 
the general features of the President's ocean policy statement of May 
1970 calling for a seabed treaty and an international authority, strong 
concern was voiced over the proposed renunciation of sovereign rights 
of all nations beyond the 200-meter isobath. The Subcommittee report 
stated : 

Our only areas of initial difference with the President are his suggestions that 
the United States should renounce its sovereign rights to its continental margin 
in return for similar, but limited rights in an area designated as a trusteeship 
zone, and his suggestion that leases applying to areas of the continental shelf 
beyond the 200-meter isobath be issued subject to an international regime to be 
agreed upon * * *. To renounce what constitutes the heart of our sovereign 
rights in response to illegal demands by a handful of nations can only encourage 
greater violation of the freedom of the seas doctrine. 9 

With regard to the deep seabed, the Subcommittee concluded: 

* * * we are nevertheless as concerned as he [the President] that the Ameri- 
can people may derive their fair share of benefits from the exploration and ex- 

5 U.S. Congress. Senate, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Outer Continental 
Shelf. Hearings by Special Subcommittee on Outer Continental Shelf. Parts 1, 2. and 3, 
19fi9 and 1970. 91st Cong., 1st and 2d sess.. Washington. D.C., U.S. Govt Print Off.. 1970. 

8 I'.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Outer Continental 
Shelf. Report by the Special Subcommittee on Outer Continental Shelf. Dec. 21, 1970. 
Committee Print, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. 222 p. 

7 Tbid., p. 8. 
* Tbid., p. 8. 

9 Ibid., p. 29, 30. 


ploitation of the deep seabed beyond the limits of exclusive national jurisdiction. 
We share with the President the desire that such ocean resources be used ra- 
tionally and equitably for the benefit of mankind. Rational and equitable use of 
deep seabed resources requires the establishment of conditions in any future sea- 
bed treaty which will encourage investment and insure protected access to those 
interested in, and capable of, responsibly undertaking mineral recovery 
operations. 10 

The President's policy statement formed the basis of the U.S. draft 
working paper presented to the U.N. Seabed Committee in August 
1970. After reviewing the draft, the Subcommittee on Outer Conti- 
nental Shelf expressed serious doubts about many of its provisions. 
Testimony at subsequent hearings highlighted many of these concerns. 
Mr. Northcutt Ely, representing the American Bar Association, 
stated : 

It is manifest that in this proposed treaty we are characterizing as the "com- 
mon heritage of mankind" resources that, under existing international law, are a 
major component of the American mineral estate, in which the United States has 
exclusive sovereign rights exercised by Congress * * *. The advantages to the 
United States visible within the four corners of this treaty are minimal. 11 

Mr. John Laylin, representing the Committee on Oceanography 
of the Section on International and Comparative Law of the American 
Bar Association, agreed with the proposed licensing concept for ex- 
ploitation but regarded the provision for licensing exploration as un- 
workable. He also maintained that the proposed regime was too elabo- 
rate and would be prohibitively expensive. Mr. Laylin suggested that 
the United States should license its own nationals and recognize the 
licenses of other countries during the interim period prior to the 
formation of an international authority, and that a future seabed 
treaty should preserve the integrity of investments made during the 
interim period. 

Mr. T. S. Ary, Vice President of Union Carbide Exploration Corp., 
representing the American Mining Congress, presented several sug- 
gestions for technical improvements in the U.S. draft working paper. 
Among the points Mr. Ary raised w T as that there were far too many 
fees, rentals and bonuses in the working paper. He suggested a registra- 
tion rather than a licensing system, and maintained that proprietary 
information from exploration should not be turned over to an inter- 
national authority. Mr. Ary also suggested that the regime proposed 
in the working paper was too elaborate and did not provide a secure 
climate for investments made during the interim period. With regard 
to the interim period, Mr. Ary testified that U.S. industry was close 
to being capable of exploiting the sizable quantities of hard minerals 
on the seabeds beyond the continental margins, and that domestic 
legislation was needed. He indicated that such legislation, if adopted 
in substantially similar form by other nations, could, through the 
principle of international reciprocity, become the basis for common 
rules among nations regarding freedom of development and security 
of tenure among ocean miners. At that hearing. Senator Metcalf ad- 
vised Mr. Ary that if the American Mining Congress would prepare 
legislation on this matter, he would introduced it for circulation and 

The hearings also focused on the Moratorium Resolution of the 
U.N. General Assembly. In response to a letter from Senator Lee Met- 

™Ibid., p. 31. 
" Ibid., p. 25. 


calf questioning the position the State Department would anticipate 
toward U.S. nationals who express an intention to exploit minerals 
from the deep seabed, Mr. John R. Stevenson, Legal Advisor, De- 
partment of State replied : 

The Department does not anticipate any efforts to discourage U.S. nationals 
from continuing with their current exploration plans. In the event that U.S. 
nationals should desire to engage in commercial exploitation prior to the es- 
tablishment of an internationally agreed regime, we would seek to assure 
that their activities are conducted in accordance with relevant principles of 
international law, including the freedom of the seas and that the integrity 
of their investment receives due protection in any subsequent international 

Two of the major tasks the report of the Subcommittee on Outer 
Continental Shelf outlined for further development in the 92nd 
Congress were : 

1. A continuing extensive review of the working paper intro- 
duced by the U.S. Delegation at the August 1970 session of the 
United Nations Seabed Committee with a view toward seeking 
modifications of it to conform to our interpretation of the Presi- 
dent's intent and with our recommendations outlined above. 

2. An investigation of the special problem of an interim policy 
which would insure continued exploration and exploitation of the 
natural resources of our continental margin under present law; 
and would establish appropriate protection for investments re- 
lated to mineral recovery by U.S. nationals in areas of the deep 
seabed beyond the limits of exclusive national jurisdiction. 13 

Legislative Concern in the 92d Congress 

The Special Subcommittee on Outer Continental Shelf went out of 
existence at the end of the 91st Congress but its Members continued 
to be concerned with deep seabed mineral exploitation. Pursuing the 
tasks outlined in the Subcommittee report. Senator Lee Metcalf asked 
Senator Henry M. Jackson, Chairman of the full committee to direct 
staff members to attend the July-August 1971 sessions of the United 
Nations Seabed Committee and to report their analysis and findings. 
Their report. The Law of the Sea Crisis, 1 * noted with concern that 
most developing nations generally favored some form of international 
seabed development monopoly and generally opposed the idea of a 
system of licensing or concessions advanced by developed countries. 

The staff report also expressed the fear that the U.S. delegation was 
placing major emphasis on military objectives in negotiations, and 
sacrificing United States interests in seabed resources. The report 
stated : 

We recognize that the U.S. free transit proposal was admittedly designed by 
the Defense Department to enhance U.S. military security. We are also aware of 
the committee's unfaltering support of the necessity of U.S. naval mobility. We 
call this fact to the attention of the Committee because we believe that the U.S. 
free transit proposal may be unattainable and because we fear that the Defense 
Department might urge the administration to abandon its deep seabed mining 
objectives and support the creation of an international seabed mining monopoly 
controlled by less developed nations as a trade-off for the votes of such less 

12 Ibid., p. 23. 

13 Ibid., p. 33. 

11 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The law of the §ea 

crisis. A staff report on the United Nations Seahed Committee, the outer continental shelf, 
and marine mineral development. 9l»d Cong.. 1st sess., Committee print, December 1971, 
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Office, 1972, 328 p. 

65-675 O - 76 


developed nations in favor of the Defense Department-sponsored free transit 

To sacrifice U.S. mineral interests in mining the deep seabed for a perceived 
military objective is at least debatable ; but to sacrifice U.S. mineral objectives 
in mining the deep seabed for what may be an unattainable military objective is 
folly, we feel. 15 

The staff report found a strong international trend for a wide shelf 
similar to the position taken by the former Special Subcommittee on 
Outer Continental Shelf. Most coastal nations favored a seaward 
extension of national jurisdiction to the outer edge of the submerged 
continental land mass or to 200 miles from shore, whichever is greater. 
Consequently, there seemed little prospect for adoption of the U.S. 
proposal for nations to renounce sovereign rights beyond the 200-meter 
depth contour. 

The report recommended that the Senate Committee on Interior and 
Insular Affairs go forward with legislation to encourage U.S. 
nationals to proceed with the orderly development of seabed resources 
under the authority of the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. 
The report concluded : 

Ample authority under well established law, enables the United States to 
regulate the activities of its nationals engaged in deep seabed mineral exploita- 
tion wherever upon the high seas they may be conducting such operations. 19 

On November 2, 1971, Senator Metcalf introduced the first deep 
seabed hard minerals bill, S. 2801. It was cosponsored by Senators 
Jackson, Allott, Bellmon, and Stevens. An identical bill, H.R. 13904, 
was introduced into the House on March 20 1972 by Representative 
Thomas N. Downing and 16 cosponsors. These bills which embodied the 
legislative recommendations of the U.S. mining interests, authorized 
the Secretary of the Interior to promote the conservation and orderly 
development of the hard mineral resources of the deep seabed, pending 
adoption of an international regime. 

Shortly before hearings on these bills were scheduled, observers 
were sent to the March 1972 session of the U.N. Seabed Committee. 
Their report 17 warned of the militant stand toward U.S. rights to 
mine the ocean floor taken by the "Group of 77," the policy caucus of 
now more than 100 developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin 
America. The delegate from Chile contended that present seabed ex- 
ploration and development activities of U.S. companies violated in- 
ternational law. He called for a cessation of such activities by the 
United States and other countries and urged the U.N. Secretariat to 
investigate U.S. ocean mining activities and requested the U.S. dele- 
gation to provide the Secretariat with all evidence of seabed mining 
activities of its nationals. The Chilean delegate also attacked S. 2801 
by suggesting that, if enacted, it would establish a policy contrary to 
international law. 

The delegate from Peru endorsed these remarks and threatened the 
United States and other developed countries with U.N. sanctions un- 
less they assured the Seabed Committee that there would be no further 
seabed mining development. 

15 Ibif!., p. 10. 

ia fbid., n. 10. 

17 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Law of the sea 
crisis : an intensifying polarization. Part II. A Staff Report on the United Nations Seabed 
Committee, the Outer Continental Shelf and Marine Mineral Development. May 1972. 
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1972, 147 p. 


The U.S. delegation responded to these charges by stating that U.S. 
companies were engaged in manganese nodule exploration activities 
as they have the implied right to do. Furthermore, the sooner such 
minerals are recovered the sooner mankind will benefit from these 
resources. The activities of U.S. companies, the U.S. delegate stressed, 
only emphasize the importance of reaching an international agreement 
for a seabed regime. 

Senators Metcalf and Bellmon also responded to this attack on leg- 
islation before the U.S. Congress. Senator Metcalf stated : 

We would be most interested to consider their objective analysis of S. 2801 and 
the relationship between it and the development of a future seabed treaty. But 
mere threats, claims and demands such as were made at the U.N. last week and 
made during the debate preceding the adoption of the now defunct Moratorium 
Resolution will do little to influence us during our consideration of national 
legislation affecting U.S. nationals. 18 

Hearings on H.R. 13904 were held by the Subcommittee on Oceanog- 
raphy of the House Committtee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries on 
May 12, 16, and 25, 1972. 19 Hearings on S. 2801 were held on June 2, 
1972 by the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels of the 
Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. 20 Seabed resources 
were also included in hearings on law of the sea issues by the Subcom- 
mittee on International Organizations and Movements of the House 
Committee on Foreign Affairs, 21 the Subcommittee on Oceans and 
Atmosphere of the Senate Committee on Commerce. 22 and the Sub- 
committee on Oceanography of the House Committee on Merchant 
Marine and Fisheries. 23 

Several issues emerged during the hearings on S. 2801 and H.R. 
13904, but neither bill was reported out of committee. The major issues 
developed were as follows : 

1. How long will it take to arrive at an internationally agreed- 
upon settlement to the numerous legal /political problems of re- 
source jurisdiction and a seabed regime? 

2. What are the technological considerations and what harm 
will be done to the American mining industries if they were forced 
to wait and lose their present technological lead ? 

3. What correlation is there between the interim legislation and 
stated U.S. ocean policy and resolutions adopted by the United 

4. What will be the economic impact of mining seabed nodules 
on developing countries or on the United States ? 

18 Metcalf, Lee. Statement by Senator Metcalf. In Remarks of TIenrv Rellmon. Congres- 
sional Record (daily ed.) v. 118, Mar. 14, 1972. p. S 8929. 

19 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Oceanography 
miscellaneous. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oceanography on Deep Seabed Hard 
Mineral Resources. NACOA Authorization, and Geneva U.N. Seabed Committee. 92d Cong., 
2d sess. May 12, 10. 25, and Sept. 14, 26, 1972. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. 1972, 
273 p. 

"U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Development of hard 
mineral resources of the deep seabed. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Minerals, Mate 
rials and Fuels on S. 2S01. 92d Cong., 2d sess. June 2. 1972. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. 
Off., 1972. 77 p. 

21 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Law of the sea and peaceful uses 
of the seabeds. Hearings before the Subcommittee on International Organisations and 
Movements. 92d Cong., 2d sess., Apr. 10 and 11, 1972. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. OCT.. 
1972. 115 p. 

-U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Commerce. Law of the sea. Hearing before the 
Subcommittee on Oceans and Atmosphere. 92d Cong., 2d sess., Oct. •"•. 1972. Washington, 
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.. 1972, 137 p. 

23 Oceanography Miscellaneous, op. rit., pp. 237-273. 


5. What implications will the interim legislation have on U.S. 
foreign policy, balance of payments, and foreign aid ? 

6. How will the legislation affect the environment or interfere 
with other marine activities ? 

The hearings revealed opposition to the proposed legislation by in- 
ternationally oriented groups and individuals, including several law- 
yers, a geologist, and a group called Save Our Seas. Legal and business 
representatives of both the petroleum and mining industries strongly 
supported the interim legislation. Some Members of Congress testified 
in favor and some opposed. 

The Executive branch maintained that the United States wished to 
delay taking a specific position on S. 2801 and H.R. 13904. In a letter 
to Senator Henry M. Jackson, dated May 19, 1972, John Stevenson, 
head of the Interagency Task Force on Law of the Sea and Legal Ad- 
visor to the State Department, explained : 

We are not prepared at this time to state a position on S. 2801. We realize, how- 
ever, that we cannot indefinitely postpone doing so on legislation of this type and 
we will watch the developments in the summer session of the U.N. Seabeds Com- 
mittee and the U.N. General Assembly session this fall very closely * * *. We will 
report to you again on this matter in the fall. 24 

In the fall hearings, the State Department was still not prepared to 
take a position on S. 2801, citing as a reason prospects for progress in 
the continuing negotiations in the U.N. General Assembly. 

Proponents of the interim legislation cited the investment of 
several million dollars by U.S. mining companies to develop seabed 
mining technology over the last 10 years. They warned that this 
technological lead might be lost to foreign competitors if U.S. firms 
are not encouraged to proceed to commercial production. American 
mining interests stated they were hesitant to invest the additional 
sums of $150 to $300 million necessary to reach commercial production 
without some security for their mining claims. N. W. Freeman, Chair- 
man of the Board of Tenneco, Inc., of which Deepsea Ventures is a 
subsidiary, outlined the following considerations restraining further 
funding of major operations : 

1. Detailed definition of any one of Deepsea's ore body dis- 
coveries will entail extensive, costly, and highly visible operations 
on location, as will future on-site engineering tests. The location 
of the ore body will inevitably become public information when 
these operations begin. 

2. The ore bodies Deepsea has located which are of economic in- 
terest tend to be limited in area due to local phenomena including 
topography, concentration, and assay. Candidacy is judged by the 
requirements of a 40-year operation at one million short tons of 
dry nodules recovered per year. 

3. The candidate ore bodies differ significantly in bearing 
strength of the seabed, depth, current and weather conditions, dis- 
tance from support bases, and assay, composition, size, weight, and 
concentration of the nodule population. All of these phenomena 
significantly affect engineering designs, which must be tailored as 
early as possible to the particular ore body selected. For example, 
two ore bodies of equal economic value might, according to Deep- 

** Development of Hard Mineral Resources of the Deep Seabed, op. cit., p. 7. 


sea's experience and technology, require quite different processing 
plant equipment. The processing plant constitutes the largest 
single capital cost of the Deepsea ocean mining project. 

4. National and international monitoring of environmental im- 
pacts, if any, will require inspections during test and development 
operations thereby making compulsory disclosure of mine site lo- 
cation likely. 
Therefore, the extensive costs associated with the particular mine 
site must be protected by a preferential right to the selected ore body 
and that preferential right must vest prior to the time : 

(a) The mine site location is compromised, 

(b) The engineering design is finalized, and 

(c) The construction costs are incurred. 25 

Another point made by the mining interests was the domestic need 
for the metals contained in the manganese nodules and our increasing 
dependence on foreign sources of supply. C. H. Burgess, Vice Presi- 
dent. Exploration, Kennecott Copper Corp., cited the April 1972 in- 
terim report of the National Commission on Materials Policy entitled, 
"Toward a National Mineral Policy — Basic Data and Issues", which 
stated : 

That as the nation's needs continue to grow, as per capita consumption of 
materials in other countries increases at an even faster rate than ours, it becomes 
increasingly difficult for the U.S. to fill its evergrowing deficits by imports, even 
at increasing prices. 28 

Mr. Burgess also pointed out that in 1970 the United States im- 
ported almost $400 million of nickel, about $600 million of copper, and 
$35 million of manganese. 

The threat of losing not only the technological lead to foreign coun- 
tries but also the products of commercial seabed operations was also 
revealed in the following exchange between Senator Metcalf and Jack 
Flipse, President of Deepsea Ventures : 

Mr. Metcalf. In your opinion would these foreign countries, some of which 
have already been outlined by previous witnesses, would they wait until ratifica- 
tion of an international treaty or a United Nations-sponsored regime? 

Mr. Flipse. It is my conviction that they would not, inasmuch as their expend- 
itures in the area raises from a maximum of 25 percent of the cost to a minimum 
of no cost. It is this underwriting or subsidy in the foreign area which permits 
them to move ahead with much less regard for a stable political environment. 27 

Supporters of the bills pointed to the need for interim legislation be- 
cause of the likely delays in obtaining a new Law of the Sea Conven- 
tion. They cited the eight years spent in preparation for the 1958 
Geneva Conventions that codified customary maritime law and sug- 
gested that an even longer period might be needed before a new inter- 
national treaty involving unprecedented legal issues would go into 
effect. They also suggested that the legislation might induce delega- 
tions to get down to business in the U.N. Seabed Committee and make 
progress in negotiations. 

Opponents of the legislation expressed the fear that unilateral action 
by the United States would destroy any hope for successfully negotiat- 

25 Ibid., p. 73. 

26 Ibid., p. 35. 

27 Ibid., p. 43. 


ing a seabed treaty, and would instead initiate a universal grab for 
distant offshore claims. They pointed out that S. 2801 and H.R. 13904 
are directly opposed to the stated position of the President and the 
U.S. delegation to the U.N. Seabed Committee. Furthermore, while the 
U.N. Declaration of Principles and the Moratorium Resolution are not 
legally binding on any nation, they convey recommendations to gov- 
ernments with the expectation that U.N. members will abide by them. 
Opponents were concerned that the provisions of S. 2801 would be 
characterized as an attempt by the United States unilaterally to claim 
national jurisdiction over areas of the deep ocean bottom beyond the 
limits of U.S. national jurisdiction. 

Another point raised in opposition to licensing U.S. nationals to 
develop seabed mining operations was inadequate consideration for 
the ocean environment. Senator Alan Cranston described the lack of 
environmental regulation as one of the most important flaws in the 
bill and stated, "S. 2801 fails to establish procedures by which damages 
for environmental pollution could be assessed peacefully and fairly." 28 

Lack of environmental data was also cited as a reason for delaying 
action on the bills. However, preliminary studies were introduced indi- 
cating the mining method developed by Deepsea Ventures produced 
no significant environmental effects. These studies were conducted in 
the summer of 1970 by scientists of the Lamont-Doherty Geological 
Observatory in 800 meters of water on the Blake Plateau in the At- 
lantic. Dr. Oswald A. Roels, the principal investigator, stated that 
under the conditions employed, the discharged water remained in the 
euphotic zone ; was not likely to produce anoxic conditions ; and would 
increase phytoplankton growth (which could lead to increased marine 
food chain productivity) only if its concentration, after mixing with 
surface water, exceeded 10 percent, which it did not. Dr. Roels also out- 
lined a program for future research to further assess the environmental 
impact of seabed mining. 

Among the specific objections raised to S. 2801 and H.R. 13904, Sam- 
uel R. Levering of Save Our Seas stated : 

1. The size of the blocks (40,000 square kilometers) is too large. 5,000 kilo- 
meters should be enough. 

2. Total holdings by one licensee of about 400,000 square kilometers within a 
circle with a diameter of 1250 kilometers again is much too large. This might 
yield forty times the current annual consumption of nickel. Full implementation 
of this provision soon might substantially exhaust the possibilities for commercial 
exploitation of the best nodule sites. 

3. The principle of exclusive occupancy is unnecessary. What is needed is ex- 
clusive access for harvesting nodules from the ocean floor by moving machinery. 

4. No provision is needed now for subsurface mining. Present provision should 
be limited to operation on or immediately below the deep ocean floor. 

5. The license should be to exploit a certain number of tons of nodules over a 
certain limited number of years (for example, 20 years), not into the far dis- 
tant future. 28 

Mr. Levering also suggested that negotiations with other nations 
leading to mutual restraint is a better way to prevent others from "get- 
ting ahead" of the United States. 

Mr. Frank L. LaQue, former Vice President of International Nickel 
Co., also criticized the large size of the licensed blocks and suggested 
licensing only rights to access to specified quantities of nodules within a 

28 Ibid., pp. 20-21. 

29 Ibid., p. 70. 


defined time period. Mr. LaQue recommended that only manganese 
nodules be considered in any proposed legislation and metalliferous 
muds or subsurface hard minerals should not be included. In addition, 
he doubted the likelihood that other "reciprocating states*' would be 
willing to have the terms of their reciprocation dictated by the United 
States through the mechanism of S. 2801. Consequently, he doubted the 
real value of the security that the bill is supposed to provide. 

An issue that had become a political focal point in the United Nations 
was also addressed in the hearings. This was the question as to the 
extent of the economic impact on the mineral exporting developing 
countries who would be adversely affected by seabed mining. Studies 
by the United Nations were submitted indicating : 

A possible adverse impact on these [metals] markets would not be catastroph- 
ically disruptive to the economies of the countries concerned. Nevertheless, any 
loss, current or potential, of export revenues to developing countries creates 
additional problems to their already strained economies in the process of 
development. 30 

Several means were proposed for diminishing the impact of seabed 
mining on the land-based mining industries in developing countries : 

1. Artificial control of production from the seabed to keep it at 
levels that would not interfere with land production or prices; 

2. Global controls, which would not discriminate against seabed 
production, for they would presumably apply to producers irre- 
spective of the location of their mines ; 

3. Limitation on the issuances of exploitation licenses to a rate 
judged appropriate to maintain a balance between land and sea 

4. Issue a license for a specified amount of annual production of 
metal and to limit the number of such licenses to that necessary 
for market and price stability ; 

5. Impose a drop in price at the expense of producing countries ; 

6. Compensatory payments by the international machinery to 
the countries affected by the declines in export revenues; and 

7. Providing preferential technical assistance to developing 
countries adversely affected by seabed production to help them 
broaden their economic base. 

Legislative Concern in the 93d Congress 

During the 93d Congress, the issue of deep seabed hard minerals 
exploitation took several turns. The interplay between the delibera- 
tions of the Congressional Committees and the negotiations in the 
U.N. Seabed Committee became more intensified. As a result of devel- 
opments in the Seabed Committee and testimony before the Congres- 
sional Committees, sponsors of the legislation introduced several 
changes in the bills during the second session. 


The Dee]) Seabed Hard Minerals Resources Act was reintroduced 
into the 93d Congress as H.R. 9 on January 3, 197:') by Representative 
Thomas X. Downing, and the identical companion bill, S. 1134, 

30 U.N. General Assembly. Possible impact of seabed mineral production In the area 
beyond national jurisdiction on world markets, with special reference to the problems of 
developing countries: a preliminary assessment. A/AC.138/3G. May 28, 1971. p. 65. 


on March 8, 1973 by Senator Lee Metcalf. The House held hear- 
ings on March 1, 28, 29, and April 3, 1973. 31 The Senate hearings 
were held May 17, June 14, 15, 18, and 19, 1973. 32 In their testimonies, 
most of the interest groups maintained much the same posi- 
tions as taken in the previous Congress. However, in contrast to the 
hearings in the 92d Congress in which the Administration witnesses 
did not take a position on the legislation, Mr. Charles N. Brower, 
Acting Legal Advisor and Acting Chairman of the Inter-Agency 
Task Force on the Law of the Sea, in letters dated March 1, 1973, 
informed Representative Leonor K. Sullivan, Chairman of the House 
Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee and Senator Henry M. 
Jackson, Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, of the 
Administration's opposition to H.R. 9 (Appendix A). Mr. Brower 
maintained that H.R. 9 was premature and that the Administration 
adhered to the policy contained in the President's Ocean Policy State- 
ment of May 23, 1970, in which the President proposed that all nations 
adopt, as soon as possible, a treaty establishing an international regime 
for the exploitation of seabed resources beyond the 200 meter depth. 

In addition, he reiterated the President's statement that it was 
neither necessary nor desirable to try to halt exploration and exploita- 
tion of the seabeds during the negotiation process, provided that such 
activities are subject to the international regime to be agreed upon, 
which should include due protection of the integrity of investments 
made in the interim period. 

Mr. Brower expressed the belief that with the Law of the Sea nego- 
tiations moving into a critical stage, it is necessary for States to be 
very careful to avoid actions that can have an adverse effect on the 
negotiating atmosphere. He further stated : 

It is apparent that H.R. 9 independent of the particular content or merits of 
the Bill, has become a symbol to many countries of defiance of the multilateral 
negotiating process. Regardless of our views on the intent and effect of the 
legislation, it may be argued by others that the legislation is similar to unilateral 
claims that we oppose and that are contrary to our security, navigation and 
resource interests, and moreover preempts the Law of the Sea Conference on this 
issue. 33 

Finally, he stated that while the Administration intended to begin 
at once to formulate a legislative approach on a contingency basis, the 
Administration did not seek the passage of alternative legislation prior 
to the conclusion of the Conference, if a timely and successful Confer- 
ence were predictable. He defined a "timely and successful Confer- 
ence" to mean a Conference which would arrive at a Convention, in- 
cluding a seabed regime, which would be open for signature in 1974 or, 
at the latest, not later than the summer of 1975. 

On the other hand, some sponsors of the legislation began to take 
a less optimistic view of progress in the United Nations. In comment- 
ing on the endless and seemingly unproductive negotiating sessions 
of the U.N. Seabeds Committee, Congressman Downing, Chairman of 

31 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Deep seabed hard 
minerals. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oceanography on H.R. 9 and H.R. 7732. 
93d Cons?. Mar. 1. 28, 29 Apr. 3, 1973. and H.R. 12233 Feb. 26, 27, 28, 1974. Washington, 
D.C., U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974, .113 p. 

88 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Mineral resources of 
the deep seabed. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels on 
S. 1134. 93d Cong.. 1st Bess. May 17, June 14, 15, 18, and 19, 1973. Washington, D.C, U.S. 
Govt. Print. Off., 1973, 768 p. 

33 Appendix A. 


the Subcommittee on Oceanography, House Committee on Merchant 
Marine and Fisheries stated : 

Since the committee first addressed itself to this interim legislation, the inter- 
national negotiations, which have so long dominated administration policy on 
marine resources, have seemingly receded even farther into the future. Little 
was accomplished in 1972 negotiations except the production of a conference 
agenda of doubtful content and a few items of proposed treaty "language" of 
somewhat dubious utility. The nature of these items, and particularly the last 
minute timing of their production, may easily lead one to believe that their ac- 
complishment is more cosmetic than substantive in intent and effect. 

The 1973 Conference on Law of the Sea has now become the 1974-75 Confer- 
ence to be preceded by a short organizational exercise in late 1973. 

The Seabed Committee, sitting for 2 years as a conference preparatory com- 
mittee, after a previous 3 years of general debate, has not produced even a 
minimum amount of proposed treaty language upon which to structure negotia- 
tion in the Conference. It only has some 65 scheduled days in 1973 to do so. 
If it cannot, and I believe that it cannot, the November-December 1973 United 
Nations General Assembly has the authority and responsibility to delay Confer- 
ence plans for another year or more. 

In the face of continual delay and disruption at the U.N., domestic interests 
continue to suffer disadvantage and administration neglect * * *. Our ocean 
miners are frustrated in their plans to develop highly desirable alternate metal 
sources because investment capital is difficult to secure in a politically emo- 
tional legal atmosphere. * * * 

These miners are now ready to make substantial investments leading to 
actual mining operations. This investment must not be inhibited by the irre- 
sponsible actions of materials-exporting countries using the U.N. as a mechanism 
to prevent the United States from developing alternative sources of copper and 
other critical metals. 

It is time for the United States to protect its national interest and to reaffirm 
strongly its commitment to the principle that deep ocean resources should remain 
available to all nations and should not become the monopolized resource of any 
one entity — private, public, or international. * * * 

This legislation has a potentially beneficial effect on domestic revenue, bal- 
ance of payments, materials availabilities, ocean technology, and many other 
facets which may very well outweigh considerations related to our international 
relationships. 34 

The State Department response to Senator Jackson and Representa- 
tive Sullivan was also conveyed to delegates in the U.N. Seabed Com- 
mittee by the head of the U.S. delegation. Mr. John Xorton Moore. 
He informed the other delegations that the Executive Branch opposed 
the passage of U.S. seabed legislation at this time although they could 
not rule out the alternative of interim legislation if a Law of the Sea 
Conference is not concluded as scheduled and does not produce a treaty 
that assures an accommodation of the basic objectives of all nations. 
He pointed out that the Administration was keenly aware of the lack 
of confidence many people have in the timely and satisfactory progress 
of the U.N. Seabed Committee and the need of I'.S. companies to 
secure a more stable base for seabed investments. Using these points 
as leverage, Mr. Moore pressed the Seabed Committee to maintain its 
schedule. He also stressed the need to prepare for the provisional entry 
into force of an internationally agreed regime immediately after a 
law of the sea treaty is opened for signature. He suggested that this 
would be necessary to ensure that all seabed exploitation is covered 
from the beginning by the treaty "so that states will not have to con- 
sider other alternatives to resolve the problem." 

This proposal to the U.N. Seabed Committee for an interim regime 
was then reported to the House Subcommittee on Oceanography in 

M Deep Seabed Hard Minerals, op. cit., pp. 11. 12, 13. 


the March 28 hearing. In the June 14 hearing of the Senate Subcom- 
mittee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels, Mr. Moore reported on the 
favorable response to the U.S. proposal. He stated that of the 20 dele- 
gations which spoke to the proposal no delegation opposed the concept. 
This response was cited as an example of satisfactory progress in 
difficult negotiations. 

In response to Senator Metcalf, Mr. Moore then amplified the Ad- 
ministration's position that passage of legislation for seabed hard 
mineral mining would not be advisable from the standpoint of the 
Law of the Sea negotiations even if it were not to become effective 
until January 1, 1976. He repeated the premise that such action would 
be viewed by many delegations as a thinly veiled threat of unilateral 
action by the United States to pressure others into an agreement on 
our terms. 

Senator Metcalf still maintained a neutral stance in his sponsorship 
of S. 1134. In his opening remarks in the May 17, 1973 hearings, 
Senator Metcalf stated: 

I emphasize that my sponsorship of S. 1134 does not imply my support of all 
of its provisions. The predecessor bill grew out of the appearance by representa- 
tives of the American Mining Congress before my special subcommittee on the 
Outer Continental Shelf in September of 1970. At that time, as our hearing 
records will show, I told industry witnesses that I would introduce their pro- 
posals for circulation and discussion. That was my position when I introduced 
S. 2801. It is my position today. I am not committed to this particular bill nor 
to any part of it. But I, and the members of this subcommittee are ready to be 
convinced. 36 

Among the supporters of the proposed legislation was Mr. T. S. 
Ary, vice president of Union Carbide Exploration Corporation, and 
representative of the American Mining Congress. He pointed out the 
balance-of-payments deficit for primary minerals would reach $64 
billion by the year 2000 assuming only 1970 prices. He suggested that 
encouraging investment in nodule mining would lead to technological 
breakthroughs which would carry over into other aspects of U.S. 
industry. He also expressed the fear that by delaying seabed mineral 
recovery, the United States would lose its technological lead and 
competitive advantages. 

In defending specific points in the legislation, Mr. Ary testified that 
the lease payment was not too small. He stated : 

We feel that the amount of money is fair, the risk is great and during the 
exploration stage the risk is being assumed by the company. If the amount of 
money is too low you will have a speculative group come into the operation. In 
our discussions we have suggested that a nominal amount be required for the 
exploration license but that work requirements involved be of a substantial 
nature so you do not sit on the blocks. 38 

Mr. Ary conceeded that the ocean mining industry would only need 
mining areas beyond the continental rise so that any redefinition of 
the (loop seabed in the bill to avoid conflict with discussions over 
boundaries of national jurisdiction would be acceptable. He also had 
no objection to deleting the concept of subsurface blocks because there 
is no present need to regulate these. 

Mr. Edwin M. Hood, President and Board Chairman, Shipbuilders 
Council of America spoke to the need of the shipbuilding industry for 
assured availability of the metals contained in manganese nodules. He 

"Mineral Resources of the Depp Seabed, op. cit., p. 81. 
3,5 Deep Seabed Hard Minerals, op. cit., p. 284. 


also stressed the beneficial impact construction of nodule mining ships 
and ore carriers would have on the U.S. shipbuilding industry. 

In testimony before the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials and 
Fuels, Dr. Richard A. Geyer, head of the Department of Oceanog- 
raphy, Texas A. & M. University and former vice chairman of the 
Stratton Commission, urged passage of S. 1134. He discounted the 
possible environmental damage from ocean mining as being insig- 
nificant compared to that caused by naturally occurring large-scale 
oceanographic phenomena such as turbidity currents and natural up- 
welling. Dr. Geyer concluded : 

After studying the provisions of this hill, I am convinced that it represents an 
excellent vehicle to implement most effectively a numher of those recommenda- 
tions of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources — more 
commonly known as the Stratton Commission — directed toward the development 
of ocean mining in general and manganese mining in particular. 37 

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oceanography, 
John E. Flipse, President of Deepsea Ventures. Inc., discussed several 
points which had been questioned by Committee members. He ex- 
plained that the minesite size of 10,000 square kilometers for the pur- 
poses of exploitation is barely adequate for a mining operation scaled 
to the recovery of one million tons of dry nodules per year, assuming 
the nodule concentration of about two pounds per square foot and a 
recovery efficiency within the present capability of technology. He 
stated : 

Realistic estimates of dredging accessibility and efficiency, sweep efficiency, 
and the cut off grade of actual minesites indicate an overall mining recovery 
efficiency of well below 50 percent of the nodules on the minesite. * * * Our 
calculations indicate that a 1 million ton operation is the minimum efficient size 
to take advantage of existing economies of scale and engineering efficiency. 38 

Mr. Flipse pointed out that while the work requirements during the 
exploration or development period are minimal in the scale of real 
costs to be incurred in ocean mining development, they are considered 
by industry sufficient to preclude speculative paper-claim filing but 
small enough to allow minimum-size operations to meet the legislative 
requirements. Mr. Flipse also acknowledged that the investment guar- 
antee period of 40 years may be excessive. He stated : 

I think 40 years was chosen originally because, based upon Internal Revenue 
Code, financial commitments were going to be written off on pier facilities, 
buildings, main plant facilities, over a 40-year period. This was the basis for this 
number being selected for the guarantee. I feel that some of us are ready to ac- 
cept a lesser period although the drafters and the Mining Congress still feel that 
the 40 years is a reasonable time period, based upon the durability of a fair 
proportion of this equipment. 39 

Mr. Flipse also informed the Subcommittee that based on Deepsea 
Ventures' determinations, '20 to 30 percent of the deep ocean floor has 
economically developable deposits. lie stated that it would take ap- 
proximately 5 years from the day the bill is passed before processed 
metals reached the market. Furthermore, in 5 years or more if an in- 
ternational regime went into effect, his company would have recovered 
only a fraction of a thousandth ol* a percent of the economic deposits. 

Amon<r the opponents of the legislation was Mr. Leigh Katiner. 
former Director, Office of Ocean Resources, Department of the Tnte- 

37 Minpral Resources of the Peep Seabed, op. cit., p. 'AUK. 

38 Deep Seabed Hard Minerals, op. cit., p. 87. 

39 Ibid., p. 89. 


rior. He raised the objection of getting locked into a specific resource 
management scheme which details block sizes, tenure, work require- 
ments, fees, royalties, and so forth. Mr. Ratiner stated the problem as 
follows : 

We would need to assemble a large data base of information about the tech- 
nology, the metallurgy, and the costs of doing business in order to establish any 
degree of real precision for the purpose of legislation, which has a tendency to 
endure, sometimes even beyond the point when the information it was based on 
was still credible and still up to date. We would want to be very sure we had 
adequate data. For the moment it is fair to sav that we do not have adequate 
data. 40 

Mr. Ratiner also pointed out that industry is virtually the sole source 
of this information, the U.S. Geological Survey has neither the funds 
nor the capability to do the kind of oceanwide survey which would be 
required in order to have first-hand knowledge and information. 

Mr. Ratiner questioned the immediate necessity of passing interim 
legislation. Based on 1971 data, he pointed out, the United States 
spent $600 million importing metals contained in manganese nodules 
and that amounted to 1.3 percent of our total import. He recognized 
that this is likely to increase but felt that a delay of a year or two to 
await a provisional U.N", regime would not greatly affect our balance- 
of-payments situation. 

Mr. Marne A. Dubs, representing the American Mining Congress 
exposed the other side of the deficient data argument. He stated that 
if full-scale mining were to begin during the interim period before an 
international treaty is concluded sound technical information could 
be gathered to help create sensible regulations in the future regime. 
"Hard information," he said, "can only come from a successful full- 
scale mining operation which in turn requires this legislation in order 
to commence." 41 

Mr. Dubs also expressed reservations about the value of the State 
Department's proposal to the U.N. Seabed Committee for a pro- 
visional regime. He stated : 

One problem with the provisional regime is that it might have far less than 
universal acceptance. This might create serious problems for an organization 
operating under its umbrella. It also should be noted that it is unlikely that the 
details of such a provisional regime could be worked out and put into force any 
earlier than a year after conclusion of the convention. 42 

The hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials 
and Fuels on June 18, 1973 were scheduled to hear spokesmen for the 
environmental groups. In his opening statement, Senator Metcalf 
remarked : 

You will recall that when I was chairman of the Special Subcommittee on the 
Outer Continental Shelf we scheduled a hearing for May 13, 1970, to hear wit- 
nesses representing the interests of what was then called "conservation." That 
was before conservationists became environmentalists. 

We had no witnesses, but statements were submitted by, among others : 
Charles H. Callison, executive vice president of the National Audubon Society; 
Thomas L. Kimball, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation, and 
Richard H. Stroud, executive vice president of the Sport Fishing Institute. 

I am glad to know that in the intervening 3 years the environmentalists have 
been able to turn their attention to this complex subject. 

When mining industry witnesses appeared before this subcommittee last month, 
I asked them a series of questions about environmental protection. You were 

40 Mineral Resources of the Deep Seabed, op. cit., p. 236. 
«Tbi<}., p. 114. 
a Tbid., p. 119. 


furnished with copies of the replies. These included the allegation that the area 
to be mined is "biologically barren" and that "the impact of deepsea nodule min- 
ing on biological processes will probably be minimal". 

I also hope that you have statistics or studies to back up your statements 
and that you will share them with this committee, which shares your concern 
about our environment. 

And, of course, should you have suggestions for amendments to this bill, or 
legislative proposals of your own, we want them. 43 

Mr. Carl R. Sullivan, Executive Secretary of the Sport Fishing 
Institute, thought that the bill was too broad and that it should be 
narrowed somewhat to preclude any type of mining that might involve 
blasting or exposure of toxic materials under the seabed. He also sug- 
gested that, although it does not appear likely to occur, any ship- 
board processing would require a special set of environmental con- 
siderations and careful monitoring to prevent the discharge of toxic 
chemicals into the sea. He further stated : 

Nowhere in this bill does it mention where the processing of the ore will be done. 
I think again there might be financial incentives to have it done in a so-called 
"developing nation" that had environmental constraints much less stringent than 
ours, where they can save money by avoiding some of the pitfalls that might be 
required on U.S. soil. 

We believe it should be stated and we believe that the processing of the ore — 
unless there are compelling political reasons — should be done on U.S. soil 

Mrs. Nancy Matisoff, speaking for the Izaak Walton League of 
America, informed the Subcommittee that one of the primary concerns 
of their organization is the lack of definitive and comprehensive data 
of the effects of deep sea mining operations on surface and bottom life. 
She suggested that the present bill was seriously deficient in its treat- 
ment of the need for ocean and technological research and called for a 
full-scale research program in this area. 

Speaking for several environmental groups including the Sierra 
Club and the Environmental Defense Fund, Mr. Richard Frank of 
the Center for Law and Social Policy objected to the proposed legisla- 
tion for two reasons. First, he believed passage of the bill would 
jeopardize the possibility of effective international agreement on pre- 
serving the quality of the ocean environment. Second, he maintained 
that no action should be taken until a comprehensive environmental 
impact statement is prepared by the Executive Branch. 

Dr. John J. Logue. Director. World Order Research Institute, Vil- 
lanova University, testifying on behalf of World Federalists, U.S.A.. 
suggested that the $5,000 long-term leasing fee to mine 40.000 square 
kilometers of ocean floor is far too low. Furthermore, he argued that 
the U.S. government does not, in his opinion, have the authority to 
grant such leases. He also suggested that passage of the Deep Seabed 
Bill would impede future ratification of a seabed treaty by the Senate 
because of the possibility of then having to pay $400 to $500 million 
compensation to our own mining companies. 

Professor L. F. E. Goldie. Director. International Legal Studies 
Program, Syracuse University College of Law. took exception to some 
of Dr. Logue's comments and pointed out that U.S. citizens as well as 
anyone else have the right to the common heritage of mankind. lie 
said : 

"Ibid., pp. 305, 306. 
" Ibid., p. 310. 


We citizens of the United States, I will remind many people, are also man- 
kind. They [the high seas beyond national jurisdiction] are part of our common 
property and we are entitled to exercise our individual rights to the common 
resources. We can graze our cows. We can take our water from the common wells 
just like any other common holder of common rights. 46 

Professor Goldie also suggested that the escrow section of the bill 
be strengthened to include not only developing countries who partici- 
pate in their regimes, but all countries. Professor Goldie further 
stated : 

I would like to point out that technology is exportable. It is salable. I see no 
reason why Monaco could not apply, let us say, the technology of deep sea 
mining or Luxembourg, provided they can reach some kind of an agreement 
for that kind of purchase. Or let us step outside of Europe altogether. There are 
countries who no doubt could through the World Bank assistance purchase the 
technology that we have developed or other countries have developed and engage 
in deep sea mining. It is not simply a matter of a closed club of the so-called 
northern developed countries.* 6 

In the conclusion of a paper submitted for the record, Professor 
Goldie summarized the legality and filing procedure for deep seabed 
mining claims. In the paper he stated : 

Independently of Congress's enactment of the Deep Seabed Hard Minerals 
Act, enterprises may prove and develop mining tracts on the deep seabed of a 
reasonable size. Translating "reasonable" into factual claims would depend on 
a number of criteria including the nature of the resources to be won and their 
distribution, equitable considerations of other claims to win the same resource, 
and what could be considered as within the scope of a possessory intent and 
control on part of the enterprise. These rights are not subject to impairment 
through any disparagements advanced under the United Nations Assembly's 
1969 Moratorium Resolution or 1970 Declaration of Legal Principles. 

Deep seabed mining claims should be recorded by filing with the Foreign Office 
of a claimant's country of nationality all documents necessary to show title. 
These should include a Deed Poll announcing to the world the recording enter- 
prise's claim, a surveyor or navigator's description of the tract in terms of 
fixes, bearings and distances, evidence of possession and of continued active 
exploitation of the resource, an intent to assert exclusive rights to exploit the 
mineral resources of the tract and testimony that the enterprise was ''first in 
time". These specific acts reflect the good faith intention of giving adequate notice 
of the making of a claim, in the absence of giving adequate notice of the making 
of a claim, in the absence of relevant and applicable statutes and treaties. The 
purpose is to give the most practical available means of effectively publicizing 
an enterprise's claim, thereby putting all interested parties on notice (i.e., the 
notice was there and available to the world had any adverse claimant but taken 
reasonable steps to inform themselves of the facts) ." 

Although, as described above, a private enterprise could proceed 
independently of congressional action, there is much more security 
in operating within the confines of a specific document than by actions 
drawn from inferences of past conduct. 

Numerous studies were introduced into the record during the hear- 
ings highlighting the increasing U.S. dependence on foreign sources 
of the metals contained in manganese nodules. One study prepared 
by Nancy P. Petersen and John K. Justus of the Congressional Re- 
search Service, Library of Congress, for the House Subcommittee on 
Oceanography included the data in Table 20 : 

« Ibid., p. 488. 
"Ibid., p. 489. 
" Ibid., p. 527-528. 


[Net imports as a percent of domestic use] 1 






Manganese ... 

::::::::::::: 11 


















1 Net imports include semirefined forms. 

Sources: (1) Final report of the National Commission on Materials Policy. Washington: June 1973. p. 2.23. (2) "The 
Stockpile Problem." American Mining Congress. Washington: June 1973. p. 4. 

Again both subcommittees refrained from pressing action on the 
legislation in order to await the final report of the United Nations 
Seabed Committee and the initiation of the Law of the Sea Conference. 


Finally, on January 28, 1974, Senator Metcalf and 6 cosponsors 
introduced Senate Amendment No. 946 in the nature of a sub- 
stitute for S. 1134. This legislation was first introduced as a 
new bill, S. 2878, on January 23, 1974, and referred to the Committee 
on Commerce. Consequently, in order to continue hearings in the Com- 
mittee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on Minerals, 
Materials and Fuels, the sponsors introduced the same bill as Amend- 
ment No. 946 to S. 1134. The companion bill, H.R. 12233, was intro- 
duced into the House by Representative Thomas Downing and 12 
cosponsors. Hearings were held by the House Subcommittee on Ocean- 
ography on February 26, 27, and 28, 1974. 48 The Senate Subcommittee 
on Minerals, Materials and Fuels held hearings the following week. 49 

In the Senate hearings, Subcommittee Chairman Metcalf stated : 

Our staff rewrote this legislation to meet the major objections of responsible 
spokesmen at previous hearings. As far as I know, the perfect piece of legislation 
has yet to be drafted. I am among those who have questions about the material 
before us. This, of course, is the reason for legislative hearings. 60 

A number of basic changes were incorporated into Amendment No. 
946 so that it differed significantly from S. 1134. Among the changes 
made were : 

( 1 ) Establishment of a moratorium on commercial development 
until January 1, 1976, to allow adequate time for international 
agreement through the Law of the Sea Conference according to 
the time frame regarded as adequate by Administration 

(2) Elimination of the subsurface block concept so that the 
leased area includes only the seabed and subfloor to a depth of 10 
meters below the water-sediment interface. 

(3) Narrowing the definition of hard minerals to ferroman- 
ganese nodules or accretions. 

48 Deep Seabed Hard Minerals, op. cit., pp. 355-513. 

411 U.S. Congress, Senate, C mittee on interior and Insular Affairs. Mineral Resources 

of the Deep Seabed. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Minerals. Materials and Fuels on 
Amendment No. 940 to 8. 1134. 93d Cong., 2d sess. Mar. 5, 6, and 11. 1074. Washiugtuu. 
D.C., U.S. (Jovt. Print. Off., 1974, Part II, pp. 769-1355. 

*°Ibid., p. 795. 


(4) Elimination of the concept of reciprocating States which 
were defined as States having similar legislation or with which the 
United States establishes a comparable interim policy. 

(5) Elimination of the escrow fund which was derived from 
part of the license fees and tax revenues from deep seabed mining 
operations to provide financial assistance to developing recip- 
rocating States. 

(6) Elimination of the concept of an international registry 
clearinghouse to record licenses and keep records and place this 
function with the Secretary of the Interior. 

(7) Raising of the license fee from $5,000 to $50,000. 

(8) Reduction of the license term to 10 years and, where com- 
mercial recovery begins within 10 years, the license is in force so 
long as commercial recovery continues but not to exceed 20 more 
years. This differed from the previous provisions of a 15-year li- 
cense term and no expiration for the duration of commercial 

(9) Limiting to 5 the number of licensed blocks held at one 
time during the first 5 years. 

(10) Requiring application for separate exploration and com- 
mercial licenses. 

(11) Providing for public access to information via public 
hearings on license applications. 

The new legislation appeared to be much more independent in its 
nature in that it tended to eliminate many of the provisions that related 
to foreign countries. It was also a tighter bill in that it incorporated 
a number of additional restrictions, reduced the scope of the licenses, 
and allowed a time period for international agreement to be reached 
before permitting commercial recovery. 

In registering impatience over the lack of progress by the Adminis- 
tration in international negotiations and pointing out the increasing 
need to support American interests in deep seabed minerals. Senator 
Metcalf commented : 

That's the last we've heard from President Nixon on this subject, which he 
said — or was quoted as saying — on May 23, 1970 was "urgent." I'm paraphrasing 
the quotation. He was quoted as saying that "the issue arises now — and with 
urgency." I suggest there may be something less than urgent about that 4-year- 
oid urgency in the mind of the President. His inability or unwillingness to act are 
in sharp contrast to the Government of at least one other major developed power — 
the United Kingdom. 

In the opinion of some Members of Congress, and I am among them, we should 
support the efforts of American industry to go after these minerals vital to our 
economy. On the basis of information available to us now, our support certainly 
need not go so far as that of the United Kingdom — but American industry may 
be able to make such a case. In any event, they should have something more to 
go on than a hollow statement from the President that he, almost 4 years ago, 
did not believe it either necessary or desirable to try to halt exploration and ex- 
ploitation of the seabeds beyond the depth of 200 meters while we seek inter- 
national agreement on who shall develop seabed resources. 

Of course, it would be preferable to carry forward such exploration and de- 
velopment under an international agreement. But I am realistically pessimistic 
about our ability to achieve such an agreement in an assembly dominated by the 
world have-nots, whose primary interest in the seabed demonstrated to date is the 
intent to rip off what they can from the handful of developed nations with the 
wherewithal to develop these seabed minerals. 

Time is running out for our economy unless we find new sources of the min- 
erals we must have — and soon. I feel this Congress would make a horrible 


mistake if we were not to do what we can to help our nationals develop the min- 
erals we need — at least to exert some measure of control over them, pending 
international agreement. 51 

Although Administration spokesmen still could not support enact- 
ment of the bill for diplomatic reasons, they did find many of the new 
provisions acceptable. Accordingly, Mr. John Norton Moore, Chair- 
man, National Security Council's Interagency Task Force on Law of 
the Sea, and Deputy Special Representative of the President to the 
Law 7 of the Sea Conference, testified : 

We agree with the underlying premise of the bill that by January 1, 1976, there 
must be an adequate legal regime for deep seabed mining under an internationally 
agreed regime in force on a provisional basis or, if this is not possible, then under 
appropriate legislation. In either event, we will support appropriate legislation 
regarding the conduct of U.S. nationals and the role of Federal agencies. We are 
mindful in this regard that U.S. firms are making substantial investments in 
deep seabed mining and are rapidly approaching the point where they must make 
even greater investment decisions. 52 

In addition to adversely affecting the progress of the Law of the 
Sea negotiations, Mr. Moore enumerated four other points of disagree- 
ment dealing with the substance of the bill. First, he objected to the 
provision of licensing before 1976. He suggested that some nations 
might regard exclusive exploration rights as an attempt to preempt 
international negotiations rather than the intended objective of estab- 
lishing some domestic priority among U.S. nationals. 

The second point Mr. Moore raised dealt with the lack of flexibility 
in the bill to deal with the U.S. proposal for provisional application 
of an internationally agreed regime. He said that domestic legislation 
should be prepared to implement a provisional regime "very soon in 

Third, the guarantee and insurance provisions of the bill would re- 
quire the U.S. Government to assume liability to private investors for 
the Government's exercise of normal treaty-making powers. This 
would also place the Government in the role of a direct insurance 
underwriter when this function should belong to the private sector. 

Finally, Mr. Moore conveyed the position of the executive branch 
that there are serious problems with the resource management provi- 
sions of the bill. Specifically, there are no provisions for royalties, or 
other revenues, flags of convenience, safety of life at sea, and marking 
and lighting of offshore mining facilities. He also suggested that there 
are problems with the environmental aspects of the bill that would 
need further study. 

Representatives of industry took issue with the points raised by the 
executive branch. In a letter to Senator Metcalf, John E. Flipse. 
President of Deepsea Ventures, listed 32 examples of programs where- 
by the Federal Government provided relief insurance or guaranty 
pools for private investment. Furthermore, the industry viewpoint 
of the insurance provisions of the bill was that they only applied 
to loss through political interference, but did not provide complete 
coverage against loss of profit or against a wide range of damages. 

In commenting on the new bill, Maine A. Dubs, speaking in behalf 
of the American Mining Congress and Kennecott Copper Corpora- 
tion, did not object to elimination of the subsurface block concept 
and the escrow fund, lie stated that industry looked with mixed views 

61 Ibid., p. 798-799, 836. 

62 Ibid., p. 930-931. 

65-576 O - 76 - 7 


on the moratorium on commercial recovery before January 1, 1976. 
With regard to elimination of the reciprocating state concept, Mr. 
Dubs stated : 

The elimination of the reciprocating state concept is a more serious matter, 
and we strongly urge the retention of this principle. It is this principle more 
than any other which operates "to promote the conservation and orderly develop- 
ment of hard mineral resources of the deep seabed." This principle tells all 
nations that the United States intends to cooperate with and take into account 
the operations of other nations. It states that the Congress of the United States, 
while passing what may appear to some to be narrowly nationalistic legislation, 
has in fact mandated a method of easily adjusting to the needs of other nations 
also anxious to utilize the resources of the deep seabed. 63 

Mr. Dubs praised the redrafted bill for eliminating many of the 
generalities and nonspecificity of the regulatory provisions of the 
original bill. However, he suggested spelling out further the items 
for which the Secret arv should promulgate rules and regulations. 
These would include : 

1. Eligibility of applicants for license ; 

2. Licensing procedures (mechanics) ; 

3. Procedures relating to work requirements ; 

4. Environmental procedures; 

5. Multiple use questions ; and 

6. Definition and handling of and reporting of data. 

He also suggested requiring the Secretary to issue regulations within 
90 days and eliminating the time consuming requirement for public 
hearings on each license application. Mr. Dubs strongly recommended 
restrictions on the public disclosure of exploration data and mineral 

Spokesmen for environmental groups maintained their opposition 
to enacting any deepsea mining legislation at this time. Mr. Kichard A. 
Frank speaking for the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club 
and other groups, repeated his basic position of the previous session. He 
maintained that the marine environment could be effectively protected 
only through international agreement. He did note that the new bill 
provided for more consideration of environmental questions. Mr. 
Samuel R. Levering of the U.S. Committee for the Oceans restated 
most of his previous objections and concluded that the bill was entirely 
unnecessary and would not accomplish its purpose of security of 

Again the record contained ample documentation of the U.S. depend- 
ence on foreign mineral supplies. Two U.S. Bureau of Mines charts 
inserted into the hearings of the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials 
and Fuels pointed out that 1973 imports of raw and processed minerals 
exceeded exports by $8 billion. Articles describing the Intergovern- 
mental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC) and draw- 
ing attention to the potential for controlling mineral markets by 
exporting countries were also inserted. 

A study presented in a Department of State memorandum dated 
January 22, 1974, concluded that over the next 3 to 5 years the likeli- 
hood of a group of raw materials producers (other than oil) joining 
forces against the major consumers to influence their behavior for 
political purposes is negligible. The memorandum states that the pro- 
ducer countries could drive up prices but probably will not manage to 

63 Ibid., p. 1018. 


seriously restrict supplies other than copper and bauxite. The final 
conclusion presented in the memorandum states : 

Although the risks that we shall have to deal with serious restrictions of 
supply in the next two or three years are small, they are not negligible and in the 
longer run U.S. dependence on foreign sources of raw materials is likely to 
increase. We should consider appropriate steps to reduce the possibility and 
effectiveness of aggresive action by producers to deprive us of adequate supplies. 64 

Sensing that the Administration may be regarding the Deep Seabed 
Hard Minerals Act less than seriously, on June 3, 1974 Senator Lee 
Metcalf and Representative Thomas N. Downing sent a letter to the 
Secretary of Commerce, Frederick B. Dent (Appendix B) inquiring 
about the Administration's legislative approach on nodule mining an- 
nounced 15 months earlier and what progress has been made on pre- 
paring an ocean mining environmental impact statement before the 
end of 1975 to serve as part of the governmental decision making 
process. The reply (Appendix C) indicated that NOAA was starting 
to implement plans for a 3-year Deep Ocean Mining Environmental 

Two months later, on August 21, as the first substantive session of 
the Law of the Sea Conference was sputtering to a close without pro- 
ducing anything of much substance, the Senate Interior Committee 
reported S. 1134, the Deep Seabed Hard Minerals Act. with Amend- 
ment No. 946 in the nature of a substitute as amended. Senate Report 
93-1116 (reintroduced into the 94th Congress as S. 713. Appendix D). 
The amendments to Amendment Xo. 946 are interesting in that many 
of the original provisions of S. 1134 were restored or reinstated in a 
modified form as follows : 

(1) Restores the reciprocating State concept but does not revive 
the escrow fund. 

(2) Restores the license term to 15 years and if commercial re- 
covery begins by then, for the duration of commercial recovery 
with no time limit. 

(3) Provides protection for proprietary information, deletes 
the provision for public hearings, and speeds up the decision 
making period for granting licenses. 

(4) Removes the limit on the number of blocks held simul- 

(5) Restores the international registry clearinghouse concept. 

(6) Raises the schedule of minimum annual expenditures re- 
quired to maintain a license prior to commercial recovery. 

(7) Extends the time limit for relinquishment of 75 percent 
of the block from 10 years to 15 years. 

(8) Further defines the limits of compensation for loss related 
to differing requirements of a future international regime. 

(9) Provides for the formation of consortia by limiting United 
States guarantee insurance and compensation to the portion of 
the interest owned by U.S. interests. 

These amendments to "the bill, as reported out of committee, reflect 
many of the findings and substantive suggestions for improvement 
brought out in the preceding hearings. In general, the amendments 
make, the conditions for deep seabed development more favorable 
for U.S. developers. 

By unanimous consent, on September 4. 1974. the Senate took S. 1134 
from the calendar and referred it to the Committee on Foreign Rela- 

64 Ibid., p. 941. 


tions from which it did not reappear during the 93d Congress. This 
course was taken by the Committee on Foreign Relations in support of 
the Administration position that no action should take place that might 
jeopardize the continuing Law of the Sea negotiations. The bills died 
with the close of the 93d Congress. 

As time passed, U.S. seabed mining interests were losing patience 
with the legislative process and the U.N. deliberations. Instead, they 
began to seek security for future investments in the formation of 
international consortia for seabed mining. The first consortium in- 
volved Kennecott Copper Corporation, followed shortly by the CLB 
Group and Deepsea Ventures. After final action on S. 1134 appeared 
hopeless, on November 14, 1974, Deepsea Ventures. Inc. filed a "Notice 
of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights and Requests for 
Diplomatic Protection of Investment" (Appendix E). This notice 
was filed with the relevant Federal agencies, foreign embassies, and 
private corporations. The notice was accompanied by a legal brief 
documenting the justification for such action based on international 
precedent. While the Department of State did not officially recognize 
or grant exclusive mining rights to Deepsea Ventures, it did reply 
that mining of the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction 
may proceed as a freedom of the high seas under existing international 
law (Appendix F). 

Legislative Coxcerx in the 94th Congress 

Deep seabed mining legislation was again introduced into the 94th 
Congress by Representative Thomas N. Downing (H.R. 1270) on 
January 14, 1975. The bill, which is essentially the same as the version 
reported out of the Senate Interior Committee in the 93d Congress, was 
referred to the House Committees on Merchant Marine and Fisheries 
and Interior and Insular Affairs. The identical bill, S. 713, was intro- 
duced into the Senate on February 18, 1975, by Senators Metcalf, Bart- 
lett, Fannin, Hansen, Jackson, Johnston, and Moss. The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs with the 
stipulation that if and when reported the bill would be referred to the 
Committees on Armed Services, Commerce, and Foreign Relations for 
thirty days. The provision of a time limit of thirty days was intended 
to avoid the problem in the 93d Congress of the bill's becoming indefi- 
nitely tied up in another committee. 

An indication that the Administration may also be starting to be- 
come somewhat less optimistic about the prospects for a successful 
outcome of the Law of the Sea Conference is evidenced by recent 
actions by the Department of Interior. On February 25, i975 the 
Department announced the formation of an Ocean Mining Adminis- 
tration to promote and encourage ocean mineral resource, recovery 
from the seabed and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction 
(Table 21). While officially stating that he has every hope that the 
Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea will be con- 
cluded successfully. Secretary of the Interior Rogers C. B. Morton 
stated : 

The Administration, however, mindful of its responsibilities to reduce where- 
ever possible our nation's vulnerability to interruptible or high cost sources of 
raw materials, will have to be prepared to act through a domestic program to 


secure our access to ocean minerals. We must create an investment climate which 
will promote the development of this new minerals frontier while at the same 
time protecting the ocean environment. 55 

In a letter to Senator Metcalf dated February 24, 1975, Jack W. 
Carlson, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, further explained : 

We continue to be hopeful that the Third UN Law of the Sea Conference will 
soon reach agreement on a satisfactory international system for managing min- 
erals recovery from the seabed beyond national jurisdiction. In that event, the 
new Ocean Mining Administration will be in place to begin immediately the com- 
prehensive task of harmonizing our programs with those established through the 
treaty. However, I believe that we must also be prepared if the Law of the Sea 
Conference does not reach a timely and successful conclusion, given our responsi- 
bilities to reduce wherever possible the Xation*s dependence on foreign sources of 
raw materials. 56 ' 

Leigh S. Ratiner. who has been Director of the Ocean Mining Devel- 
opment Office on the staff of the Assistant Secretary — Energy and 
Minerals, was appointed Administrator of the Ocean Mining Adminis- 
tration. Mr. Ratiner has been actively concerned in possible deep sea- 
bed mining legislation for several years. 


Before 1976 

Under a law of the sea treaty 

Under a domestic program 

Prepare and finalize environmental 
impact statement in close coordi- 
nation with NOAA. 

Supervise technology and resource 
assessment programs. 

Draft ocean mining regulations for 
both domestic and international 

Continue active role in international 
negotiations on the law of the sea. 

Insure compliance by ocean miners with 

Process mining applications by U.S. na- 
tionals and coordinate with international 

Promulgate regulations complimentary to 
those of authority. 

Promulgate regulations for submission of 

Promote development of knowledge about 

Insure U.S. participation in international 
programs for technical assistance in 
ocean mining. 

Assist international authority in environ- 
mental studies. 

Nominate and supply U.S. experts to serve 
on international authority's commissions. 

Review international authority's regulations. 

Implement investment risk insurance pro- 

Comply with national environmental 
Policy Act: Review need for addi- 
tional study before issuing mining 

Promulgate ocean mining regulations. 
Issue mining authorizations and 
insure compliance. 

Coordinate U.S. ocean mining regula- 
tions with those of other nations 
engaging in ocean mining. 

Establish investment risk insurance 

Continue environmental studies and 
technology and resource assess- 

Late in September 1975 the Department of Commerce established an 
Office of Marine Minerals (OOMM) within NOAA. The new office, 
headed by Amoi L. Lane, will serve as the focal point for NOAA's 
new and expanding programs in marine minerals. The Deep Ocean 
Mining Environmental Study (DOMES) is the major project now 
under the new office. 

Hearings were held on S. 713 on November 7. 1975 at which time 
industry representatives were asked to describe the current state of the 
art for nodule mining and discuss needs that could be met through 
Congressional action.' 7 Mr. Maine A. Dubs. Director of the Ocean 

55 Metcalf. Lee. Ocean Floor Mining. Congressional Record, Feb. 26, 1975, p. S 2711. 

66 Ibid., p. S2711. 

57 I'.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular \(Tairs. Current Develop 
ments in Deep Seabed Mining. Hearing before the Subcommittee on Minerals, Material* 
and Fuels. 94th Congress, 1st sess., Nov. 7, li>7"). Washington, D.C., D.8. Govt. Print. Off.. 
1**7 .1 . Part I. 240 p. 


Resources Department of Kennecott Copper Corp., speaking on be- 
half of the American Mining Congress described the general position 
of seabed mining interests as follows : (1) some 200 potentially commer- 
cial mine sites have been identified but development without investment 
protection is financially very risky; (2) metallurgical problems of 
winning metals from nodules have largely been solved and tested at 
pilot plant level, but in order to design a commercial plant tests need 
to be run with nodules from a specific mine site; (3) mining systems 
have been tested at sea and there is no longer any doubt about the tech- 
nical and economic feasibility of ocean mining. However, without pro- 
tection from the risk that the industry will no longer be able to mine or 
would have investments impaired from financial burdens as a result of 
a LOS Treaty agreed to by the United States, and insurance against 
interference by foreign governments or firms against which there are 
no legal remedies available, mining interests are unwilling to commit 
the large expenditures necessary to enter into commercial mining 

Mr. John L. Flipse, President of Deepsea Ventures, Inc., stated that 
his firm has already slowed down its mining program to the point 
where it is now about two years behind the schedule it had originally 
set. Industry spokesmen suggested that if U.S. firms were to falter, 
deep ocean mining would likely proceed under the leadership of for- 
eign members of the consortia, most of whom are subsidized by their 

When asked whether an insurance type of bill rather than a licens- 
ing scheme would provide sufficient investment incentive for deep sea- 
bed mining, Mr. Flipse informed the Committee that this fall-back 
position mainly assures the banks of getting their money back. How- 
ever, the mining companies are interested in anticipating profits and 
could invest in other things such as risk- free securities if the onlv in- 
vestment security for deep sea mining would be to cover any loss from 
foreign interference. 

Mr. C. Thomas Houseman, Vice President and Technical Director, 
Mining, of the Chase Manhattan Bank, stated that with no legislation, 
he could not recommend to his bank that they invest in deep seabed 
mining. However, he agreed that an insurance bill would satisfy the 
bank's requirements for lending capital in an ocean mining venture. 

Mr. Dubs suggested that an insurance scheme must somehow be tied 
into a sustained nodule supply and that a grandfather clause would 
have to be tied into anv LOS Treaty he would want the United States 
to sign. He suggested that licensing might be used as a means of obtain- 
ing insurance under an insurance bill. 

Something on the order of a 10-year financing package would be 
needed for ocean mining (four years for the investment in and con- 
struction of equipment, and six years cashflow from the project to 
retire the outstanding debt). Not only do banks and mining companies 
take a long term view, but there is a growing concern over dependency 
on foreign imports of mineral resources. As Senator Metcalf pointed 

As you know, the members of this committee have a real interest in deep-sea 
mining, and are not so concerned with whether or not you people are going to 
get your money back. 


We are concerned with the development of the resources, and encouraging you 
to go forward with providing the United States with resources that are in very 
scarce supply. And as we look ahead, it looks as if we are going to be in the same 
situation insofar as many of these valuable mineral resources as we are in oil 
and in other energy sources . . . 

I don't think we would be very much interested here in the Congress in this 
legislation unless we were thinking and hoping that we were going to insure an 
additional supply of very valuable and important and scarce mineral resources 
in the years ahead to keep our economy going. 58 

As a result of reorganization and new committee assignments in the 
House, Congressman John M. Murphy, Chairman of the Subcommittee 
on Oceanography, now has jurisdiction over deep seabed mining legis- 
lation in place of Congressman Downing. Congressman Murphy is 
expected to introduce and hold hearings on a new deep seabed mining 
bill early in the 2nd session of the 94th Congress. Action in the Senate 
is also expected early in the 2nd session. 

w Ibid., p. 19-20. 


Possible Cartel Action 

The contribution to the U.S. trade deficit from imports of cobalt, 
copper, manganese and nickel raw materials totaled over $1.1 billion 
in 1972 and is steadily increasing. 1 Faced with Americans growing 
dependence on imports for most of the key raw materials consumed, 
the reliability of supplies from mineral exporting countries is being 
closely scrutinized. A number of recent articles have pointed out that 
several "third world" or developing countries have a sizable potential 
for exercising controlled market power. 2 3 For example, four coun- 
tries (Chile. Peru, Zambia and Zaire) control more than 80 percent 
of the copper exports on the world market, and have already organized 
the Inter-governmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries 
(CIPEC) to coordinate their oligopoly power. C. Fred Bergsten. 
senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, suggests that the cartel 
formed by the oil exporting countries is the prototype that will lead 
to the formation of other commodity cartels. He speculates further 
that unified action by exporters of different commodities, such as 
bauxite and copper, would reduce the threat of substitution. 

However, a number of obstacles arise to the formation of commodity 
cartels. One obstacle is the economic option of using substitutes for 
some commodities as mentioned above. The solution of coordinating 
exports of several commodities, as Bergsten poses, only compounds a 
second and more difficult problem of achieving adequate cooperation 
among suppliers. Unlike the OPEC countries, the metal-exporting, 
non-industrialized countries do not have a surfeit of funds which can 
permit them to withhold or reduce supply for an indefinite period of 
time. In addition, the mineral exporting nations are of much more 
divergent economic, political, historical, and cultural backgrounds 
such that their chances of reaching a common agreement to withhold 
supply or produce an effective cartel are seriously limited. Another 
deterrent to establishing a producer cartel is the ability of consumer 
nations to stockpile some materials. 

Some observers maintain that commonly shared social or political 
values are not essential to the formation of a cartel. Instead, mutual 
economic incentives are considered the primary motivation. It is also 
suggested that producer nations, frustrated in attempting to achieve 
other goals, may resort to extreme or even irrational policies in the 
management of their mineral resources. Should this happen, during 
a period of growing demand and overall scarcities, major consumer 

'U.S. Bureau of Mines. Data in: Bullis. L. H. Domestic Raxc Material* Resources. Pro 
duction, and Demand vix-a-ris Imports From Abroad. Conp. Research Service Multllith. 
HF 1045, May 3, H»74. p. 28-31. 

2 Bergrsten, C. F. The Threat From the Third World. Foreign Policy. No. 11, summer 
1973. Reprinted in Mineral Resources of the Deep Seahed Part IT, op. cit., p. 815-818. 

3 Fish, Sidney. Third World Goods Price Rise Feared. (New York) Journal of Commerce 
and Commercial, Dec. 27, 107.3. Reprinted in Mineral Resources of the Deep Seabed Part 
TI. op. cit., p. 803-805. 



nations could be faced with reduced materials imports and higher 

Others maintain that the OPEC example represents a unique case 
and cannot be duplicated by other industrial raw materials. 4 The 
demand for petroleum is, at least in the short term, much less respon- 
sive to price increases because the industrialized world is heavily de- 
pendent on petroleum and alternative energy sources are not readily 
available. Also, it is claimed, the OPEC success was facilitated by the 
corporate behavior of the major oil companies, a situation not dupli- 
cated by other commodities. 5 

A State Department study titled Raw Materials Other Than Oil as 
Economic 'Weapons Against the United States and Other Major Con- 
sumers concluded that countries exporting critical raw materials such 
as copper and bauxite may be tempted to follow the example of the 
cartel of the oil producing countries by restricting production and 
raising prices, but they will probably be unsuccessful for lack of com- 
mon economic and political objectives. For example, through lack of 
cooperation from Chile, the largest copper producer in CIPEC. the 
organization has not been effective. Chilean officials fear that the world 
economic situation would be further stressed by increased copper 
prices and limited output, which would damage Chile's economic in- 
terests in the long run. The State Department study pointed out : 

The long-run interests of producers of all raw materials lie in not doing per- 
manent harm to the economic well-being of the industrial countries. They threat- 
en these interests only in extremis as perceived in terms of their own national 
interest. Only extreme and exceptional circumstances have enabled the Arab 
producing countries to stand more or less united on prices. On other issues they 
are still often at odds. 8 

Furthermore, the study suggests that even quite substantial price 
increases will result in relative small increases in prices of most fin- 
ished products. In the long-run, with the single exception of diamonds, 
the few cartels which have held together were rarely able to garner 
significant windfalls for themselves. The avoidance of cutthroat com- 
petition among the members has been the major accomplishment of 
cartels in the past. However, others maintain that past failures took 
place largely during periods when buyers' markets existed for most 
commodities, whereas at present, sellers' markets appear to be the rule. 7 

Among the conditions listed in the State Department study for effec- 
tive producer power were : 

1. Producer control over a substantial share of world produc- 
tion entering into international trade ; 

2. Financial resources adequate to cover the loss of export earn- 
ings involved in restricting exports; 

3. Inability of consumers to develop alternative sources of sup- 
ply in short and medium-term ; 

4. Absence of consumer stockpiles ; 

5. Limited possibilities for substitution by synthetic or other 
natural materials : and 

4 Krasner, S. D. One, Two, Many OPEC's . . . ? Oil is the Exception. Foreign Policy, 
Xo. 14, Spring 1974, p. 79. 

5 Ibid., p. 77-78. 

6 Department of State Memorandum, Jan. 22, 1974. In Mineral Resources of the Deep. 
Seabed Part II op. cit., p. 943. 

T Berjrsten, C. F. One. Two, Many OPEC's * * * ? (3) The Threat is Real. Foreign 
Policy, No. 14. Spring 1974, p. 85. 


6. Political objectives and economic situations that are similar 
among producers, a condition which implies a relatively small 
number of producers. 

Using these criteria the State Department analyzed the market sit- 
uation for several industrial raw materials and found little likelihood 
of a serious threat to the United States. With regard to manganese ore, 
the principal sources for the United States are South Africa, Gabon, 
Brazil, and Zaire. India is another major producer. The likelihood of 
this group forming an effective cartel was considered small, but sup- 
pliers to the U.S. market were individually able to obtain substantially 
higher prices in recent negotiations despite releases from the GSA 
stockpile as a bargaining measure. 

A copper cartel. CIPEC, has existed since 1967, but thus far has 
failed to function effectively as a bargaining group. Copper prices 
reached a record high in the second quarter of 1974 due to factors 
unrelated to cartel action, and prices have been declining since. The 
United States is a major copper producer and would be less affected by 
a successful copper cartel than other industrialized countries. 

Cobalt is produced as a byproduct and cartel of cobalt exporting 
countries would have to depend to some extent on the mining and 
processing of iron, copper, and nickel. Among the developing coun- 
tries producing cobalt, that could possibly form a cartel, are Zambia, 
Zaire. Morocco, and Cuba. It is not considered likely that the United 
States would be significantly affected by a cobalt cartel of these coun- 
tries. Although we import essentially all the cobalt we consume, the 
total requirement is relatively small, and other producers are available. 

Exports from Canada account for most of the nickel consumed in 
the United States. Developing countries, primarily Cuba and Indo- 
nesia, produce only 13 percent of the world mine production of nickel. 
A nickel cartel that did not include Canada would hardly be con- 
sidered effective, especially against the United States. However, al- 
though Canadian and U.S. friendship has strong diplomatic, cultural, 
and strategic ties, Canada is becoming increasingly independent in 
foreign policy and economic diplomacy. Canada is reassessing its role 
as a raw mineral exporter and attempting to increase Canadian owner- 
ship of foreign investments. 

A report prepared by the Congressional Research Service titled, 
Domestic Raw Materials Resources. Production, and Demsind vis-a-vis 
Imports From Abroad* concluded : 

In general, the situation regarding potential formation of materials cartels by 
Third World nations is unclear. Powerful arguments can be raised on both sides 
of the question * * * However, in view of the increasing dependence of the 
United States upon many of these cartel-candidate materials, it is clear that the 
possibility of cartels cannot be dismissed out of hand. 8 

Thus far. the discussion of cartels has concerned only present land- 
based mineral exporting countries. The position taken by the Group 
of 77. representing about 100 developing countries, in the Third U.N. 
Law of the Sea Conference, would establish a regime that would give 
the United Nations a "cartel" with essentially arbitrary powers in deep 
seabed mining and metal production. The United States and delegates 
of other industrialized countries are generally opposed to vesting this 

8 Bullis, op. cit.. pp. 19-20. 


degree of authority in a United Nations body controlled by nations 
whose interests are frequently opposed to our own. 

United Nations Activities and Kelations 

United Nations involvement in the deep seabed has included direct 
funding for nodule surveys and sponsoring conferences on the Law of 
the Sea to establish an international legal framework for deep ocean 

nodule surveys 

The United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far 
East (ECAFE), through its Committee for Coordination of Joint 
Prospecting for Mineral Resources in South Pacific Offshore Areas, 
is funding two nodule survey projects. These are in the vicinity of 
Tonga, Western Samoa, and Fiji who are interested in locating com- 
mercial nodule deposits near their shores. 9 


Four Conventions on the Law of the Sea were signed in Geneva in 
1958 to codify international agreements regarding ocean space and 
national rights. A second conference was convened in 1960, but no 
additional agreements were reached. Consequently, these conferences 
and the resulting conventions left unresolved a number of questions 
and issues. One issue that was not resolved was the breadth of the 
territorial sea. Another related issue concerned the preferential rights 
of coastal states to the resources of the sea and deep seabed immediately 
beyond their territorial limit. The Convention on the Continental 
Shelf left open the area subject to a future international regime by 
incorporating an ambiguous definition of the continental shelf. The 
continental shelf was defined as "the seabed and subsoil of the sub- 
marine areas adjacent to the coast but outside the area of the territorial 
sea, to a depth of 200 meters or. beyond that limit, to where the depth 
of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural 
resources of the said areas.'' 10 As technology pushed exploitability 
to greater and greater depths, the elasticity clause become more signifi- 
cant. However most authorities agree there is some point at which the 
seabed is beyond national jurisdiction. Debate mainly revolves around 
the concepts of whether the deep sea resources are nobody's property 
(res nullius), and therefore in principle subject to national appropria- 
tion, or everybody's property (res communis) and therefore not sub- 
ject to any individual nation's appropriation or sovereignty. 

On August 17, 1967, the Permanent Mission of Malta to the United 
Nations submitted a proposal urging that the resource wealth of the 
oceans be regarded as the "common heritage of mankind" to be used 
for the benefit, and in the interest, of mankind particularly developing 
nations. While the United States supported the U.N. resolution to 
this effect, statements by the U.S. State Department representatives 
have cautioned that "common heritage" does not mean "common 
property." 11 

» ECAFE, op. cit., pp. 33-38. 

M1B U.S.T. at 473. T.I. AS. No. 5578, 499 U.N.T.S. at 312. 

"U.S. Congress. Sonate. Committee on Commerce. "L»w of the Sea. H^rim? before the 
Snhcommlttpe on Oeenns and Atmosphere. 992d Cong., 2d sess. Oct. 3, 1972. Washington, 
D.C. : U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1972, p. 8. 


An immediate outcome of the Malta proposal was a resolution, dated 
December 18, 1967, by which the U.N. General Assembly created an 
Ad Hoc Committee to Study the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed and the 
Ocean Floor Beyond the Limits of Xational Jurisdiction (the Seabed 
Committee). On December 21, 1968, one year and many background 
reports later, the General Assembly granted the Ad Hoc Committee 
permanent standing committee status. During its 1969 sessions the 
Seabed Committee determined to learn more about the content and 
location of the mineral wealth beneath the sea. Studies indicated that 
the major deep seabed resource beyond the continental shelves was 
ferromanganese nodules of which little was known of the costs of 
recovery and benefaction. Indications were that the nodule deposits 
could represent a vast untapped mineral wealth. 

Many developing countries believed that the only effective way to 
share in this wealth would be to prevent the industrialized countries 
from proceding to exploit the deep seabed. This strategy involved 
securing the adoption of four resolutions in the 1969 session of the 
U.N. General Assembly. The first of these resolutions, 2574 A 
(XXIV), requested the Secretary General to poll the member coun- 
tries on the desirability of convening a Law of the Sea Conference in 
which the area of the seabed beyond national jurisdiction would be 
defined and a regime established to administer the development of 
this area. Resolution 2574 B (XXIV) requested the U.X. Seabed 
Committee to prepare a set of legal principles governing the seabed 
bevond national jurisdiction to be presented at the next session of the 
General Assembly. The Secretary General was also requested. Resolu- 
tion 2574 C (XXIV), to review the various types of international 
machinery for a seabed regime. Passage of this resolution demon- 
strated that the developing countries were not interested in the pre- 
vious report of the Secretary General that suggested a licensing or 
registration system rather than an operating agency. The final and 
most controversial resolution. 2574 D (XXIV) , declared a moratorium 
on all exploitation of the seabed resources pending the establishment 
of an international deep seabed regime. Debate on this resolution high- 
lighted the frustration of the developed nations in dealing with the 
growing majority of increasingly outspoken underdeveloped coun- 
tries. The 1969 Moratorium Resolution was passed by a vote of 62 to 
28 with 28 abstentions. The United States and other industrialized 
countries voted against the resolution. With passage of the Morato- 
rium Resolution, the record was made clear that U.N. resolutions are 
onlv recommendations to governments and are not leirallv binding. 

On December 17. 1970 the U.N. General Assemblv adopted by a vote 
of 108 to with 14 abstentions, the "Declaration of Legal Principles". 
Resolution 2749 (XXV). which stated: 

The seabed and ocean floor, and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of na- 
tional jurisdiction (hereinafter referred to as the area), as well as the resources 
of the area, are the common heritage of mankind. 12 

The United States voted for this resolution. Another principle in the 
Declaration restated the concept of an international regime for de- 
veloping the seabed but did not attempt to define the type of regime. 

"United Nations Doc A/6228, 1970. 



The decision to convene a Third U.N. Conference on the Law of 
the Sea was formally made by the 25th U.N. General Assembly in 
December 1970 (U.N.G.A. Res. 2750 C (XXV)). A two- week orga- 
nizational meeting of the Conference was subsequently scheduled to 
be held in New York in 1973 followed in 1974 by an eight-week sub- 
stantive session in Santiago, Chile (later rescheduled for Caracas, 
Venezuela). The Seabed Committee was requested to prepare a com- 
prehensive list of subjects and issues relating to the Law of the Sea 
and draft articles on these issues. In deliberations throughout the 
July and August 1971 session of the Seabed Committee, many pro- 
posals were set forth, but there was little agreement as to the form 
of control the international seabed regime should exercise. Debate 
centered on the type of regime, the machinery to regulate it, whether 
it should be independent or under the aegis of the United Nations, 
and the powers of the machinery. Suggestions for the machinery to 
regulate seabed mining include: (1) a registration system; (2) a li- 
censing system ; (3) an international monopoly wherein the regime can 
directly exploit resources; (4) a combination of direct operating au- 
thority by the regime, and licensing and/or registration by individual 

The U.S. working paper detailed the structure for a strong inter- 
national regime with the power to issue licenses on a nondiscriminatory 
basis to states and enterprises sponsored by states and procedures for 
compulsory settlement of disputes. Most of the developed nations 
also favored some form of licensing arrangement. On the other hand, 
the delegate from Trinidad and Tobago in summarizing the Latin 
American working paper stated, "The concept of a licensing or con- 
cession svstem is in our view inconsistent with the principle of common 
heritage" 13 and advocated the direct exploitation concept to be de- 
veloped initially through joint ventures or profit sharing arrange- 
ments. Spokesmen for the Soviet Bloc proposed a small agency with 
a small professional staff to provide administrative oversight of deep 
seabed mining. 

Durimr the years prior to the convening of the first session of the 
Third U.N. Law of the Sea Conference in 1973, the U.S. negotiating 
position underwent a major change in emphasis. From the time it was 
first formally announced in 1970, the U.S. position on the Law of the 
Sea met with opposition not only internationally but also at home. The 
initial position primarily reflected the strategic interests of the De- 
partment of Defense. This called for a renunciation of national claims 
to seabed resources beyond the depth of 200 meters and the establish- 
ment, beyond this point, of an international regime to govern the ex- 
ploitation of seabed resources. This limit to seaward extension of the 
continental shelf boundary reflected military fears of expansion of 
coastal state sovereignty to ultimately close off U.S. military access to 
coastal areas and straits around the world and limit the placement 
of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) detection devices. The military in- 
fluence even extended to advocating limited preferential rights for 
coastal nations over the fishery resources off their shores. 

"United Nations. Report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed and the 
Ocean Floor Beyond the Limits of Nitioml Jurisdiction, General Assembly, Official Records, 
26th session, supplement No. 21 A/8421, New York, 1971, p. 21. 


As domestic industries became more active in the formulation of 
ocean policy, the priority accorded the military interests became more 
restricted. Whereas the military previously intervened in seabed as 
well as fisheries policy, it became largely restricted to policy inputs 
relating directly to military mobility — to straits and territorial sea 
boundaries affecting navigation. In response to strong industry pres- 
sure, an Advisory Committee on the Law of the Sea. consisting of 60 
representatives of the industrial and scientific communities, was formed 
in early 1972. The official purpose of the Advisory Committee was to 
advise the head of the U.S. delegation to the U.X. Seabed Committee 
in the areas of petroleum, hard minerals, marine science, interna- 
tional law and relations, fisheries, international finance and taxation, 
marine environment, and maritime industries. The input from these 
domestic interests coupled with strong international pressures was 
apparent in the statements made by the chairman of the U.S. delega- 
tion to the Seabed Committee, Ambassador John R. Stevenson, on 
August 10, 1972 which placed a new emphasis on the national interest 
in ocean resources. Shifting from an earlier position stressing a species 
approach for international regulation of all fishing, the U.S. delega- 
tion indicated that it would accept coastal state management of coastal 
and anadromous species. Furthermore, the United States abandoned 
its position on a 200 meter isobath limit of national jurisdiction. The 
United States would accept coastal state regulation of mineral re- 
sources to the outer edge of the continental shelf or some specified dis- 
tance from shore with other uses of the area unrestricted and pollution 
controls to be internationally determined. Another factor possibly in- 
fluencing the shift in U.S. naval concerns is the development of new 
Trident submarine missiles with ranges up to 6.000 miles, reducing the 
need for submarines to enter straits-closed seas. 

The first session of the Third U.N. Law of the Sea Conference con- 
vened in Xew York in November 1973 with discussion centering on 
procedural matters. Many of these were left unresolved and two addi- 
tional weeks were added to the beginning of the Caracas session in 
1974 for discussion of these matters. The initial lack of agreement on 
voting procedures and other preliminary matters marked an inau- 
spicious beginning for the Conference, and to some observers suggested 
great difficulties would arise in reaching future substantive agreements. 

In Caracas, the establishment of an international regime for deep 
seabed mineral exploitation was debated in Committee I. While the 
determination of the limits of national jurisdiction was placed in 
Committee IT of the Conference, these limits bear directly on the work 
of Committee T. The major positions on this issue, as reflected in the 
first article of the draft proposals before Committee I. were (1) the 
limits of the Area (subject to international control of seabed resources ) 
would be seaward of the limit of national jurisdiction established at 
the 500 meter isobath or 100 nautical miles from the coastal states 
baselines: (2) the limits of the Area would be the seaward limit of 
a Coastal Seabed Area of a breadth to be specified: and (3) the Area 
would commence at the lower edge of the continental margin or, if 
the edge were closer than 200 miles of the coast, then from a distance 
of 200 miles of the coast. In general, developing countries maintained 
claims to sovereignty or sovereign rights in a zone of 200 miles while 
allowing others only freedom of navigation, rights to lay cables and 


pipelines, and the right to conduct scientific research subject to coastal 
State consent. Most developed countries would prefer a 12 mile terri- 
torial limit with the 200 mile area being an exclusive economic zone 
of the coastal state subject to international high seas freedoms. The 
coastal state would have the exclusive right only to explore for and to 
exploit living and non-living resources on and under the seabed and in 
the water column. A related unresolved issue is the question of the 
extent to which landlocked states and geographically disadvantaged 
states might be permitted to exploit the area within coastal state juris- 
diction, or even traverse that area in order to reach international 

Another area of disagreement is over the activities to be governed by 
the draft seabed treaty. One view suggests that all activities of what- 
ever nature and scope (even, by implication, those unrelated to seabed 
mining) should be regulated. Another proposal is that only explora- 
tion and exploitation of the resources of the Area and other related 
activities should be covered. A third approach limits regulated activ- 
ities to "industrial exploration and exploitation", thus leaving scientific 
research unconnected with these commercial activities free from 

The exploitation system resolved into three maior issues: (1) Who 
may exploit the area, (2) the conditions of exploitation, and (3) the 
economic aspects of exploitation. Several draft proposals were con- 
sidered. Although differing in details, most draft proposals on the 
organizational structure of the international agency suggest: (1) an 
"Assembly" consisting of all parties to the treaty; (2) an executive 
"Council" with restricted membership but nevertheless representative 
of all major interests; (3) a Secretariat; and (4) an operational arm 
variously termed the "Enterprise," "Operations Commission," "Ex- 
ploitation Commission," or "Permanent Board." The basic difference 
in approach is in the location of the voting power or decisionmaking 
authority within the organizational structure. The developing coun- 
tries, because of their numerical superiority, support the concept of 
"one country one vote" and, thus, would place the decisionmaking 
power in the Assembly. The Council would carry out the day-to-day 
business of the organization within closely drawn policy lines deter- 
mined by the Assembly. 

The other basic position is to place the major executive power in 
the Council with authority for considerable flexibility in conducting 
the business of the organization. Various commissions could be estab- 
lished to advise the Council on technical and scientific matters. In this 
view, the Assembly would be primarily the political body to approve 
very broad policy issues. Most developed countries support this basic 

Another difference in the draft proposals concerns the composition 
of the Council. The issue revolves around whether the Council should 
reflect accurately the political alignments and strengths of the Assem- 
bly or be weighted in some fashion to consider those intersts who have 
the technology and financial resources required for seabed exploita- 
tion. A third approach, supported by the Soviet bloc, favors voting 
within the Council on the basis of equitable geographic representation 
(giving the developing countries two-thirds of the seats on the Coun- 


cil) while requiring a unanimous vote or "common agreement" for de- 
cisions on substantive issues. 

Three basic concepts have been suggested for the functions of the 
international agency. One proposal, basically the U.S. position, would 
empower the agency to issue licenses directly to the exploiting entity, 
whether state, private, or state-sponsored private. Under this system 
the agency would establish general rules for safe and orderly exploita- 
tion and exercise minimal control over the operations of the licensee. 
The international organization itself would not engage in exploration 
and exploitation. 

Another proposal, representing the position of the Group of 77, 
would establish an Enterprise with a monopoly of seabed exploration 
and exploitation as an arm of the international organization. The 
Enterprise would completely control seabed exploitation, initially, 
through qualified state agencies or other entities and, eventually, en- 
tirely through its own funds, equipment, and personnel. 

The third basic concept, somewhere between the other two, proposes 
an agency with the power not only to issue licenses, but also, at some 
future time, to develop the capability to explore and exploit seabed 
resources on its own in competition with state or private entities. This 
system is reflected in proposals to establish a Management and Devel- 
opment Commission, an International Seabed Operations Organiza- 
tion, and an Exploration and Production Agency of the organization. 

The critical difference in these three concepts is in degree of control 
the international agency will exercise, through an appropriate organ, 
over seabed exploration and exploitation activities, and how much 
control will best obtain the maximum benefit for, and maximum pro- 
tection of. the interests of mankind as a whole. 

The United States took the position that the convention must 
guarantee access on a nondiscriminatory basis to deep seabed re- 
sources. Guaranteed access includes a requirement that mining rights 
be granted automatically to any qualified applicant. Furthermore, the 
United States advocated that the whole system for granting rights 
should be carefully structured in the treaty to insure that the system 
would be economically efficient and that' exploitation would occur 
under a set of detailed conditions written into the treaty to guarantee 
the security of exploitation necessary to attract investments. Among 
the conditions stipulated was an application fee not to exceed $50,000 
for which the miner would receive the exclusive right to mine a tract 
not to exceed 30,000 square kilometers per area applied for. Other con- 
ditions required meeting a prescribed minimum time and expenditure 
schedule for progressing through evaluation to development. 

In considering the economic effects of nodule mining on the econ- 
omies of developing country metal producers, the United States op- 
posed price and production controls on seabed operations. Uncertain- 
ties surrounding the estimates of economic damage to developing 
countries producing manganese, copper, nickel, and cobalt add to the 
politics of the issue. Some representatives of developing countries also 
stated that price and production controls which maintain artificially 
higher prices would not be desirable. 

The Group of 77 (now 10fi developing countries) formed a bargain- 
ing team to support a mutually acceptable draft treaty representing 

65-675 O - 76 - 8 


their interests. Initially, their position, although not unanimous, 
would only allow nodule exploitation directly by an international au- 
thority. Early in the session at Caracas, after negotiating among them- 
selves, the Group of 77 introduced a new alternative text allowing the 
Authority to enter into contractual arrangements with private entities. 
Under this proposal the Authority would still retain direct and effec- 
tive control over all activities. While this proposal is still not accept- 
able to the United States, it does represent recognition that at least in 
the early years of its existence the Authority could not develop the 
financial and technical capability to mine the seabeds. 

In regard to the conditions of exploitation, the Group of 77 would 
grant the Authority far greater discretion in managing seabed opera- 
tions than the United States could accept. Their draft would allow the 
Authority to discriminate among various ocean miners and to impose 
arbitrary and unreasonable terms and conditions. Other draft pro- 
posals by Japan and the European Economic Community permit li- 
censing only to states rather than directly to private entities. 

Following his return from Caracas, Ambassador John K. Stevenson 
testified before a joint meeting of the Subcommittee on Minerals, Ma- 
terials and Fuels of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee 
and the National Ocean Policy Study of the Commerce Committee on 
September 17, 1974, stating : 

As in other areas of the law of the sea, the United States has sought in the 
deep seabed negotiation to protect its principal national interest in access to these 
mineral resources not by sweeping generalities written into treaty articles, but 
rather by setting out detailed provisions that explicitly prescribe how the system 
will work, what will be the rights and obligations of both the international ma- 
chinery established to govern exploitation and the prospective ocean miners who 
will do business under the system and what kinds of safeguards will be provided 
for ensuring that these respective rights and obligations are protected and ful- 
filled. Nevertheless, it is clear that inclusion in the convention of a detailed min- 
ing code alone would not fully protect our interest in guaranteed access, and thus 
the United States position also depends on achieving an appropriate balance in 
decision-making organs that realistically reflect existing interests, as well as pro- 
viding machinery for the compulsory settlement of disputes. 14 

In conclusion, Ambassador Stevenson summed up the seabed mining 
deliberations in Caracas by saying, "Committee I is perhaps our most 
difficult negotiation, rooted as it is in widely differing political and 
economic interests." 15 

While negotiations at the first substantive session of the Law of the 
Sea Conference in Caracas did not produce a treaty for deep seabed 
exploitation, they did affirm general agreement on broad principles 
and reduce the number of alternatives to choose from. Among the 
major policy objectives expressed were: 

1. Encouraging the development of nodule resources. It was 
generally agreed that development of nodule resources is in the 
interest of mankind as it is questionable whether known land- 
based resources are sufficient to sustain long-term continued 
growth in material consumption. 

2. Minimizing the impact of nodule mining on mineral exports 
of developing countries. Development of seabed resources will 

"U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Subcommittee on 
Minerals, Materials, and Fuels. Status Report on law of the Sea Conference. Hearings Part 
2, Sept. 17, 1974, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington, 1974, p. 853-854. 

15 Ibid., p. 863. 


have an impact on the export earnings of a number of developing 
countries. Some forms of compensation, commodity agreements, or 
controlled nodule development were often advocated. 

3. Ensuring the participation of developing countries in the 
nodule industry. The large capital requirements and sophisticated 
technical ability required for nodule mining would limit the in- 
dustry to developed countries. Some form of participation is de- 
sired by developing countries, perhaps secured by restricting 
nodule mining to direct exploitation by an international authority. 
A more direct participation could be attained through joint ven- 
tures if a developing country had some capital to risk. 

4. Securing revenues for the international authority. Since most 
of the benefits from nodule mining would accrue to the industrial 
nations who would mine nodules, revenues for the international 
authority well in excess of operating expenses could be extracted 
from nodule miners. On the other hand, the view was expressed 
that high revenues may be used to the benefit of less developed 
countries in the short term but may add to higher prices for manu- 
factured goods, which would be detrimental to developing coun- 
tries in the longer term. 

5. Preservation of the marine environment. Prevention of pollu- 
tion and contamination in the marine environment is a concern 
of most nations. Research, equipment design, and establishing 
proper operating procedures prior to nodule mining activities 
would be expected to minimize pollution potential. This could 
be enforced through an international regime. 

6. Conservation of nodule resources. Although nodule deposits 
are continually forming and the current economically recoverable 
reserves are extensive, care must be taken to protect and conserve 
these resources. 

Many of the above policy objectives are to some extent conflicting. 
It is whether or not agreement can be reached on the delicate balance 
and trade-offs of these objectives in consideration of the widely dif- 
fering economic and political interests of many nations that will 
determine any future seabed treaty. 

The second substantive session of the Third United Nations Law of 
the Sea Conference was held in Geneva from March 17 to May 0, 1975. 
The session concentrated on the translation of general outlines of 
agreement into an informal single negotiating (not negotiated) text 
covering virtually all the issues before the Conference. This text was 
finally prepared by the chairmen of the three main committees as pro- 
posed by the Conference President to "take account of the formal and 
informal discussions held so far.'' 

In reporting on the progress in Geneva to the Senate Interior and 
Insular Affairs Committee joint meeting of the Subcommittee on Min- 
erals, Materials and Fuels, on June 4. 1975. Ambassador Emeritus 
John R. Stevenson again found "it is now clear that the negotiation 
on the nature of the deep seabed regime and authority is the principal 
stumbling block to a comprehensive Law of the Sea Treaty." He 
explained : 

The United States explored a number of approaches in an effort to tie forth- 
coming with respect to developing country demands for participating in the 
exploitation system. We indicated our willingness to abandon the inclusion of 
detailed regulatory provisions in the treaty and to concentrate on basic conditions 


of exploitation. We agreed to consider a system of joint ventures and profit 
sharing with the Authority. In addition, we proposed for consideration the reser- 
vation of areas (equal in extent and potential to those in which financial condi- 
tions were subject to the Basic Conditions) in which the Authority could nego- 
tiate for the most favorable financial terms it could obtain. The Soviet Union 
proposed a parallel system through the reservation of areas in which the Author- 
ity could exploit directly, while in other areas states could exploit under a 
separate system of regulation by the Authority. Both approaches were rejected 
by the Group of 77. Some developing country flexibility in the deep seabeds was 
demonstrated by their willingness to submit the entire exploitation system to the 
control of the Seabed Authority Council and to include representatives of desig- 
nated developed and developing country interest groups on that body in addi- 
tion to those selected on the basis of equitable geographic representation. 16 

In the same hearings Mr. John Norton Moore, Chairman, National 
Security Council's Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea and 
Deputy Special Representative of the President for the Conference on 
the Law of the Sea, stated that "it is now clear that the negotiations 
cannot be completed before mid 1976 at the earliest and at this time 
it is not clear whether or not a treaty can be completed during 1976." 
The Conference agreed to schedule the next session in New York for 
eight weeks beginning March 29, 1976. In the meantime, Ambassador 
Moore testified that the executive branch was "now conducting a 
thorough reevaluation of our interim policy. . . . We hope to com- 
plete our study and consultations by, or soon after, the August Con- 
gressional recess at which time we will submit to the Congress not 
only our recommendations concerning interim legislation, but also a 
full and frank evaluation of the factors that we have weighted." 17 

Acting in response to this informal commitment, on October 29, 
1975, Senator Metcalf convened the fourth hearing before his Subcom- 
mittee on the status of negotiations at the U.N. Law T of the Sea Con- 
ference. Speaking for the Administration, Carlyle E. Maw, interim 
chief of the U.S. delegation, reported that the review 7 of the U.S. posi- 
tion would not be completed for a matter of months, but certainly be- 
fore the March session in New York. For the first time, the Adminis- 
tration indicated some flexibility on the issue of whether passage of 
legislation would prejudice or preempt the Law T of the Sea Conference. 
In response to questions from Senator Metcalf and Congressman 
Downing, Mr. Maw agreed that while it would depend on the specifics 
of the bill, legislation could possibly serve as a catalyst for negotiations. 

Mr. LeiglTS. Ratiner, Administrator of the Ocean Mining Adminis- 
tration of the Department of Interior, summarized the problem of 
finding some way to convince the developing countries of the firmness 
of our position and that it is time to make reasonable compromise. 
While not endorsing any legislation he stated : 

We have said in the past that the bill which you introduced under circumstances 
prevailing, say a year ago, or two years ago, would be harmful to the negotia- 
tions. And I have, myself, said so at this table. 

Senator Metcalf. Let me interrupt. We have also, both in open hearings and 
in conferences, told you and told the other representatives that we would modify 
the legislation as we could to try to help you in your negotiations, isn't that 

Mr. Ratiner. Yes, sir. 

"U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs S " boom ™Vl e e ° n 
Minerals. Materials and Fuels. Hearings. Status Report on Law of the Sea Conference. 
Hearing. Part 3. Washington, June 4, 1975, p. 1173-74. 

17 Ibid., p. 1175. 


Mr. Maw. Mr. Chairman, may I interject here? This is the problem that we 
have very much in mind and which we are straggling with in our review. It 
depends of course — the effect of the legislation depends on the legislation. It 
depends upon the timing. It depends upon so many things. 

That is why we want to consult with you, and as we develop our program for 
the oncoming session, we will come to you with the pros and cons. In strictest con- 
fidence, we have not resolved these issues as of this moment unfortunately, and I 
do not think we can resolve them within the next fortnight or two months. 18 

The value of passing legislation that would encourage U.S. deep 
seabed mining ventures and be an aid to the U.S. position at the LOS 
Conference was emphasized by Senator Metcalf : 

If Congress passes a bill and the decision at the White House is to veto such 
a bill, I think we would have hindered our negotiations. And I do not think that 
we would want to do that. We want to work with the administration. We want 
to work with you people in finally getting our nationals out there mining the 
seabed, recovering this resource. 

When are we going to know then what you are going to decide? It has been 
years. Now are we down to a matter of months? Is it March that you think you 
will know? 

Mr. Maw. I think we have to have a policy decision in concurrence with you 
well before March. 19 

In late November, the White House announced the nomination of 
T. Vincent. Learson. former President and Chairman of IBM Corp., to 
succeed Carlyle Maw, who had been an interim appointment to replace 
former Ambassador and Head of the U.S. Delegation John Stevenson. 
Ambassador Stevenson had resigned after the conclusion of 1975 ses- 
sion of the LOS Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. 


In view of the wide divergence of positions on seabed exploitation 
and heretofore general unwillingness to compromise among the par- 
ticipants in the Third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference 
several possible outcomes are likely, such as: (1) A timely, successful 
(acceptable to the United States), and effective treaty will be con- 
cluded; (2) no treaty will be concluded; (3) an ineffective treaty or 
general statement of principles agreeable to all will be adopted; (4) 
an open-ended conference with a general treaty agreeable to all, or to 
a majority, will be signed with substantive issues to be negotiated 
later; or (5) a treaty unacceptable to the United States will be 
adopted. An outcome along the lines of the first possibility would 
require major shifts in position, primarily by the developing countries. 
Although hope springs eternal, there is little indication to date that 
such a shift might occur. If a successful treaty were signed, it would 
preempt any domestic legislation, if existing, and probably require 
enabling legislation for ratification. 

Since the Third U.N. Law of the Sea Conference was first proposed, 
pessimists have suggested that, in all probability, no treaty will be 
adopted. An ineffective treaty or broad statement with few specifics 
and generally agreeable to all, would be a face-saving conclusion for 
the participants, but would also be an unsuccessful result. Even 

18 U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Subcommittee on 
Minerals. Materials and Fuels. Status Report on Law of the Sea Conference. Hearing, 
Part 4. Washington. October 29. 1975, p. 14.">1. 

10 Ibid., p. 1454. 


Malta's ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Arvid Pardo, the man 
reportedly most responsible for initiating the Law of the Sea Con- 
ference by declaring the sea's resources beyond the limits of national 
jurisdiction the "common heritage of mankind," expressed disappoint- 
ment with the way things were turning out. "I suppose it would be 
better if there were no conference and no treaty at all." 20 

An open-ended conference resulting in only a general treaty, leaving 
substantive issues to be decided later, would indefinitely postpone com- 
mercial seabed mining and, consequently, not be acceptable to mining 
interests who now have substantial investments in deep seabed mining 
technology. In such a case domestic legislation could provide a frame- 
work for regulating domestic mining interests during the interim 
period until a substantive international agreement can, if possible, be 
concluded. In the absence of domestic legislation, U.S. nationals could 
still proceed to commercial seabed mining at their own risks. 

If a convention on deep seabed exploitation that is unacceptable to 
the United States were adopted, it might not be acceptable also to other 
technologically advanced countries whose corporations or governments 
have already invested large sums in deep seabed mining. Countries 
with such investments include the United States, Japan. Great Britain, 
France, West Germany, Australia, Canada, and the Soviet Union. Con- 
sequently, an international monopoly for seabed mining would have to 
develop or purchase its own expertise and technology for mining (by 
some means of financing at a level equal to approximately half the 
total budget of the United Nations) or else provide an attractive 
investment incentive or contract arrangement with countries or private 
entities that already have this capability. 

The acceptance of a treaty agreement may also be influenced by con- 
ditions that may be treated as part of a package deal. Not only may 
trade-offs occur among different ocean uses, but trade-offs may be 
acceptable within a particular issue. For example, with regard to sea- 
bed mining, a restrictive treaty may be written favoring the condi- 
tions imposed primarily by one group while allowing existing seabed 
mining to continue (or, conversely, a treaty written differently and 
generally less restrictive, in conjunction with a temporary moratorium 
on deep ocean mining) . 

According to several observers, the chances are best that if a treaty 
is produced by the Law of the Sea Conference, it will come in 1976 or 
early 1977. If the Conference is not successful by then, it will prob- 
ably drag on for several years or possibly the attempt will be 

Unless it became accepted law, an international convention is not 
binding except on the signatory countries. The strength of the conven- 
tion lies in the extent of its acceptance among the countries most 
affected by it. For example, the 1973 Inter-governmental Maritime 
Consultative Organization (IMCO) Convention on Marine Pollution 
from Ships required ratification by 15 countries whose combined 
merchant fleets constituted not less than 50 percent of the gross tonnage 
of the world's merchant shipping before it enters into force. A conven- 
tion on seabed mining would not be effective for controlling seabed 
exploitation unless it were ratified by most of the aforementioned coun- 

20 Alexander, op. cit., p. 210. 


tries with seabed mining interests. Judging from past experiences, if 
more than one or two of these countries did not sign the convention, it 
would carry less weight than desired despite the total number of signa- 
tories. The countries who do not become party to the convention would 
be free to mine the seabed subject to the public censure of the other 
nations. A case in point is Russia and Japan who did not sign the 
International Whaling Convention and continued to catch whales 
beyond their allotted quotas. 

If the United States were not a signatory to a convention regulating 
the exploitation of the seabed, the only controls on U.S. mining inter- 
ests would come from whatever legislation Congress might choose to 
enact. This legislation would not legally affect the right of U.S. na- 
tionals to mine the seabed but would regulate and control their opera- 
tions. Such legislation has been introduced in the last three Congresses 
by Senator Lee Metcalf and others. These bills were initially supported 
by the mining interests as a means of investment security. While the 
bills would still supply that guarantee, if enacted, the mining interests 
no longer feel the need for them as strongly as before. This change has 
come about largely through the formation of international consortia 
for deep seabed mining. 

U.S. companies are already on record stating they intend to mine 
the seabed despite the outcome of the Law of the Sea Conference. 
John E. Flipse, President of Deepsea Ventures, Inc., speaking at a 
National Advisory Committee on Ocean and Atmosphere (NACOA) 
meeting stated that Law of the Sea Conference results would not affect 
his firm's plans for reaching full scale production between 1978 and 
1980. 21 

The Group of 77 has made it clear that it will hold the United States 
responsible for the actions of its nationals. Under present law, the 
United States has no legal means of stopping private corporations 
from seabed mining beyond national jurisdiction. If such legislation 
were enacted, U.S. mining interests could even attempt to register 
their ships in other countries or operate through foreign partners in 
consortia arrangements. In addition, the U.S. State Department has 
refused to recognize the mining claim filed by Deepsea Ventures, 
Inc. for an area beyond national jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean, but 
did support their right to mine (at their own risk) in international 

21 Washington Report, National Ocean Industries Association, Nov. 29, 1974, p. 4. 


Appendix A 

Letter from Charles N. Brower of the State Department to 
Senator Henry M. Jackson 

Department of State, 
Washington, B.C., March 1, 1973. 
Hon. Henry M. Jackson, 

Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, 

Dear Mr, Chairman : In a letter to you on May 19, 1972, the Chairman of the 
Inter-Agency Law of the Sea Task Force indicated that the Executive Branch 
was not prepared at that time to state a position on S. 2801, the "Deep Seabed 
Hard Mineral Resources Act". A hill identical to S. 2801 has been reintroduced in 
this session of the Congress at H.R. 9. In his May 19th letter, the Chairman of 
the Task Force noted the connection of the bill with the Law of the Sea prepara- 
tory negotiations in the United Nations Seabed Committee, and said that we 
would report again on our views in the light of developments at the summer ses- 
sion of the Seabed Committee and the 27th United Nations General Assembly. 
This letter provides Executive Branch views on H.R. 9 supplemented by an ap- 
pendix on the bill's mineral resource and technical aspects and their relationship 
to the negotiations. 

By far the most important development at the 27th General Assembly regard- 
ing the Law of the Sea was the unanimous adoption of a Law of the Sea Con- 
ference Resolution. This resolution establishes a precise schedule for the Law of 
the Sea Conference and preparatory negotiations. Preparatory work in the UN 
Seabed Committee will be intensified in 1973, with provision for a five week ses- 
sion beginning in early March in New York and an eight week session beginning 
in early July in Geneva. The Resolution provides for convening a brief organiza- 
tional session of the Law of the Sea Conference in New York in November/ 
December 1973, and for convening a second session of the Conference, for the 
purpose of dealing with substantive matters, in Santiago, Chile in April/May 
1974. There is also provision for such subsequent sessions of the Conference if 
necessary, as may be decided by the Conference with the approval of the General 
Assembly, at a subsequent session or subsequent sessions no later than 1975. 

The Resolution also provides for the General Assembly to review at its 28th 
session next fall the progress of preparatory work and, if necessary, to take 
measures to facilitate completion of the substantive work for the Conference 
and any other action it may deem appropriate. As a strictly legal matter, such a 
clause is unnecessary since the General Assembly has his authority in any event. 
Its inclusion made it easier to accommodate concerns about proceeding to a Con- 
ference in the absence of adequate preparation. Moreover, we and others have 
made it clear that we will wish to seek an adjustment in the schedule in order 
to ensure that there are more than eight weeks of work in 1974. 

The present hope of a large majority of States is that the kind of schedule out- 
lined in the Conference Resolution can be met. This conclusion is necessarily 
based upon the expectation of important accomplishments in the preparatory 
work of the Seabed Committee in 1973. 

As significant as the content of the Conference Resolution was the fact that 
it was adopted unanimously. All groups involved in its negotiation expressed 
great sensitivity to the concerns of other States, and great efforts were devoted to 
arriving at a resolution which could command nat merely a majority or a % 
majority, but general support. This augurs well for the future of Law of the Sea 
negotiations, since a successful Law of the Sea Conference will necessarily re- 
quire a similar attitude of mutual respect and accommodation. 

Although not directly relevant to the legislation before us, there were other 
developments in the General Assembly this year that were less auspicious but 
which, nevertheless, merit reporting. A deep division of opinion developed re- 
garding a request by certain Land-locked and shelf-locked states for a study of the 
implications for the international seabed area of various proposed limits of 
national jurisdiction. It had been our bope that this issue could be resolved by 
negotiation and accommodation, but unfortunately, such an accommodation did 



not in fact occur until after a number of close votes and intense debate. The ulti- 
mate result was the adoption of a revision of the land-locked/shelf -locked study 
resolution, as well as a companion resolution introduced by Peru calling for an 
analysis of the effect of different limits on coastal States. The U.S. has consistently 
supported reasonable requests for studies and information on Law of the Sea 
subjects, and in accordance with this policy we supported both the land-locked/ 
shelf-locked proposal and the Peruvian proposal. 

One other significant development at this General Assembly, fortunately in 
keeping with the spirit that dominated the negotiation of the Conference Reso- 
lution, was the fact that no new resolution calling for a moratorium on deep 
seabed activities was introduced. While it. would not be accurate to interpret 
this as an indication that States supporting the earlier moratorium resolution 
have changed their opinion, we believe that the avoidance of a renewed and 
divisive debate on this subject was related to the general attempts to ensure 
the best possible atmosphere as we enter the final stage of preparatory work 
this year. Needless to say, our own opposition to the moratorium remains 

Turning to H.R. 9, the considerations expressed in our letter of May 19, 1972 
on S. 2801 (identical to H.R. 13904) remain applicable, and generally set forth 
the factors affecting our approach to H.R. 9. In the time that has elapsed, 
however, we have been able to give further consideration to the matter in the 
light of international and domestic developments. We are accordingly in a 
position now to state a more definitive view on H.R. 9 and interim mining 

First, we adhere to the policy on this subject contained in the President's 
Oceans Policy Statement of May 23, 1970. We continue to believe that it is 
necessary to achieve timely widespread international agreement on outstanding 
Law of the Sea issues in order to save over two-thirds of the earth's surface 
from national conflict and rivalry, protect it from pollution, and put it to use 
for the benefit of all. It remains vital to all our national interests involved in 
the Law of the Sea Conference that the world agree on a treaty that will properly 
accommodate the many and varied uses of ocean space including the seabeds. 
At the same time we believe that it is neither necessary nor desirable to try 
to halt exploration and exploitation of the seabeds beyond a depth of 200 meters 
during the negotiation process, provided that such activities are subject to the 
international regime to be agreed upon, which should include due protection of 
the integrity of investments made in the interim period. 

Second, we believe that there is reason to expect that the schedule for the 
Law of the Sea Conference outlined in the Conference Resolution just passed 
by the General Assembly will be adhered to. As previously indicated, the pre- 
amble of the Conference Resolution expressly states the expectation that the 
Conference will complete its work in 1974 or at the very latest in 1975. 

Third, we believe that with the Law of the Sea negotiations moving into a 
critical stage, it is necessary for States to be very careful to avoid actions that 
can have an adverse effect on the negotiating atmosphere. It is apparent that 
S. 2801 (now H.R. 9), independent of the particular content or merits of the 
Bill, has become a symbol to many countries of defiance of the multilateral 
negotiating process. Regardless of our views on the intent and effect of the 
legislation, it may be argued by others that the legislation is similar to unilateral 
claims that we oppose and that are contrary to our security, navigation and 
resource interests, and moreover preempts the Law of the Sea Conference on 
this issue. It is well known that we have urged legislative restraint on other 
countries during the multilateral negotiating process even when they felt im- 
portant interests were involved : we believe we should do the same so long as 
there are reasonable prospects for a timely and successful conference. 

Fourth, we wish to insure that technology to mine the seabeds will be developed 
and that the United States will be able to look to seabed mineral resources as 
a new source of metals which would otherwise have to be imported with an 
attendant impact on our balance of payments and other interests. 

Fifth, we also believe that a secure and stable investment climate must 
surround seabed mining activity under any new legal regime. 

Sixth, we want to assure that all seabed mineral resource development will be 
compatible with sound environmental practices. 

Tbe adoption of the Conference Resolution indicates that Ave should distin- 
guish between two different time periods. Tbe first is the period between the 
present time and the conclusion of the Conference in 1974 or at the latest 1975. 


The second is the period between the end of the Conference and the entry into 
force of a treaty. 

With respect to the second time period, we believe it may be desirable for the 
Law of the Sea Conference to provide at its conclusion for immediate provisional 
entry into force of some aspects of the international seabed regime. There is an 
excellent precedent for this in the Chicago Civil Aviation Convention of 1944, 
which is one of the most widely ratified treaties in the world. This approach can 
accommodate the fears of many states that the establishment of an interim 
regime might still not lead to the establishment of a permanent regime, since in 
fact what we would be doing would be to bring certain parts of the permanent 
regime and machinery into operation earlier on a provisional basis. It is our 
intention to make clear in the international negotiations the advantages of, and 
the need for, the entry into force of a viable provisional international regulatory 
system for the deep seabeds as part of the general Law of the Sea treaty settle- 
ment in a way that ensures that the provisional system will be part of, and not a 
substitute for, the permanent system. 

We will spare no efforts to ensure that a successful Law of the Sea Conference 
can be concluded on schedule. However, this does not mean that we intend to 
focus our efforts exclusively on the Law of the Sea negotiations. 

Prudence dictates that we also begin at once to formulate a legislative approach 
on a contingency basis for two reasons. First, it could conceivably become clear 
during the negotiations that we have no reasonable basis for expecting a timely 
and successful Law of the Sea Conference. Second, we can prepare for provisional 
entry into force of some aspects of the international seabed regime once it is 
signed. While the approach in H.R. 9 does not appear to us to be satisfactory, 
we intend to continue the useful discussions we have been having with industry 
representatives and members of the public on this issue with a view to formu- 
lating such an approach within the Administration. 

Similarly, we have had interesting discussions of this problem with other 
nations. In this connection, it must be borne in mind that economic as well as 
political factors make it necessary that we understand and take into account the 
interests and views of other countries on this subject. United States companies 
will not be alone on the deep seabeds, nor will the United States be the only 
country affected by their activities. Thus, we also intend to continue our consul- 
tations with other interested States on this subject, and in particular with those 
States whose nationals may in the foreseeable future be in competition with our 
own companies. 

In this process, we will try to be guided by the need to avoid taking any defini- 
tive steps which would make the U.N. negotiations more difficult for ourselves 
or other nations, as well as the need to provide the essential elements of the 
financial security which industry considers necessary. 

Let me be quite clear about the timing of this course of action. First, Ave will 
commence work on alternative approaches immediately, and will concentrate on 
the period between signature and entry into force of the treaty ; second, we will 
want to make a continuing assessment of the negotiations to determine if a 
timely and successful Conference will occur; and third, we will not ask Congress 
to pass alternative legislation for the period before the conclusion of the Confer- 
ence if a timely and successful Conference is predictable. 

Let me also be clear as to what we mean by a '"timely and successful" Con- 
ference. We would not regard a Conference as timely unless the schedule referred 
to in the preamble of the Conference Resolution is adhered to: in other words, a 
Convention, including arrangements regarding the provisional application of the 
international seabeds regime, would be opened for signature in 1974 or. at the 
Latest, in 1975. In practical terms, this means not later than the summer of 1975. 
since many delegates would have to be present when the I'.X. General Assembly 
convenes in September. 

Similarly, we could no longer regard the likely outcome of a Conference as 
successful should it become apparent that other States are not prepared to ac- 
commodate basic United States interests in a final Law of the Sea settlement. In 
our statement of August 10. 1972. before the I'.X. Seabed Committee, we re- 
iterated what those interests are. Three paragraphs from that statement follow: 

"The views of my delegation on non-resource uses have been clearly stated on 
a number of occasions. It is our candid assessment that there is no possibility 
for agreement on a breadth of the territorial sea other than 12 nautical miles. The 
United States and others have also made it clear that their vital Interests 
require that agreement on a 12-mile territorial sea he coupled with agreement 


on free transit of straits used for international navigation and these remain 
basic elements of our national policy which we will not sacrifice. We have, how- 
ever, made clear that we are prepared to accommodate coastal State concerns 
regarding pollution and navigational safety in straits and have made proposals 
to that effect in Subcommittee II." 

"The views of my delegation on resource issues have also been stated on a 
number of occasions. Unfortunately, some delegations appear to have the impres- 
sion that maritime countries in general, and the United States in particular, 
can be expected to sacrifice in these negotiations basic elements of their national 
policy on resources. This is not true. The reality is that every nation represented 
here has basic interests in both resource and non-resource uses that require 

"Accordingly, we believe it is important to dispel any possible misconceptions 
that my government would agree to a monopoly by an international operating 
agency over deep seabed exploitation or to any type of economic zone that does 
not accommodate basic United States interests with respect to resources as well 
as navigation." 

In another excerpt regarding the deep seabeds we stated : "An effective and 
equitable regime must protect not only the interests of the developing countries 
but also those of the developed countries by establishing reasonable and secure 
investment conditions for their nationals who will invest their capital and 
technology in the deep seabeds. In order to provide the necessary protections for 
all nations with important interests in the area, it is also necessary to establish 
a system of decision making which takes this into account and provides for 
compulsory settlement of disputes. We do not regard these objectives as incon- 
sistent with the desire of other countries for equitable participation in deep 
seabed exploitation and its benefits." 

For some time our experts have been engaged in a study of the economic im- 
plications of deep seabed mining legislation such as last session's S. 2801 and 
the current session's H.R. 9. They are examining issues of resource management 
and development, as well as questions of political economy such as the design 
of arrangements to ensure efficient exploitation of ocean resources. Implications 
for tax, customs and development finance policies are also under review. 

The technology of ocean bed mining is likely to develop rapidly, and^new in- 
formation continually challenges old hypotheses. It is therefore impossible to 
be definitive. Nevertheless, at this time we are prepared to give you a compre- 
hensive but as yet still incomplete report of the Administration's views on cer- 
tain technical aspects of H.R. 9, particularly those related to resource manage- 
ment and development. 

In reporting to you that the Administration is opposed to the enactment of 
H.R. 9, we want to make clear that this does not mean we are unalterably op- 
posed to legislation of any sort, or that we intend to disregard the problem of 
interim mining. Any of a number of events could occur that would lead us to 
conclude that legislation was necessary, and we intend to prepare as quickly 
as possible for that contingency. Moreover, we wish to repeat that we continue 
to adhere to the President's statement that it is neither necessary nor desirable 
to try to halt exploration and exploitation of the seabeds beyond a depth of 200 
meters during the negotiating process, provided that such activities are subject 
to the international regime to be agreed upon, which should include due protec- 
tion of the integrity of investment made in the interim period. Our opposition 
to H.R. 9 in no way alters this. 

We are deeply conscious of the fact that no decision we could have reached 
on this issue at this time could have been universally popular. Some who support 
the moratorium may not aeree with the policy we have set forth. Some who 
support the approach in H.R. 9 may be equally disappointed. For the present, 
we think the middle course we have outlined is best. We hope the Committee 
will agree. However, we fully understand that the Committee, like the Adminis- 
tration, may wish to pay close and continuing: attention to developments that 
could alter this assessment. We pledge our full cooperation with the Committee 
in those efforts. 

The Office of Management and Budget advises that from the standpoint of the 
Administration's program there is no objection to the submission of this report. 

Charles N. Broweb, 
Acting Legal Adviser and Acting Chairman, Inter-agency Task Force on 
the Law of the Sea. 

Appendix B 

Letter from Representative Thomas X. Downing and Senator Lee 
Metcalf to Secretary of Commerce Frederick B. Dent 

U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 

Washington, D.C., June 3, 1974. 
Hon. Frederick B. Dent, 

Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, 
Washington, B.C. 

Dear Mr. Secretary : On several occasions, the Congress has had the benefit 
of testimony from Administration witnesses, including those representing your 
department, as to this nation's commitment to the development of deep ocean 

Among others, Professor John Norton Moore of the Department of State, has 
advised us as to Administration policy on the issues which will be before the 
Law of the Sea Conference in Caracas, and of Administration efforts to provide 
for provisional application of certain aspects of the anticipated Convention. He 
has further assured us that, in the absence of a "timely" resolution by the Con- 
ference of the issues before it, the Administration is prepared to support domestic 
legislation to provide alternative solutions. 

The Administration concept of a timely resolution of issues apparently is that 
described by Ambassador John R. Stevenson, Special Representative of the 
President for the Law of the Sea Conference, in his letter to the "Wall Street 
Journal", published January 7, 1974, and which Senator Metcalf read into the 
"Congressional Record" of January 21, copy attached. 

We say "apparently," because in his March 1, 1973 letter to Chairman Jackson 
of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, as well as in his 
testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oceanography on the same date, 
Mr. Charles N. Brower, then Acting Legal Adviser to the Department of State 
and Acting Chairman, Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea, said 
that "prudence dictates that we also begin at once to formulate a legislative 
approach on a contingency basis . . .". Fifteen months later, we are still awaiting 
information on that legislative approach. 

According to Professor Moore, one responsibility of the Administration in 
this area is the preparation of an environmental impact statement on the effects 
of deep ocean mining, such a statement to include the results of at-sea work to 
be carried out by "our" experts, and to be completed in time to serve as a part 
of the governmental decision-making process before the end of 1975. If that 
responsibility is to be carried out, we are now at the point, if indeed not past 
it, when we must make a vigorous, concentrated effort to acquire the necessary 
information and data upon which valid judgments may be based. 

In view of the situation, we would appreciate your advising us at as early 
a date as is possible of the past efforts and present plans of the Executive 
Branch, and particularly of your own department, on the development of an 
ocean mining environmental statement, with emphasis on how the Executive 
Branch, is taking advantage of ongoing and future at-sea operations by American 
ocean miners. 

We would like to know whether your attention to this problem area has been 
merely a token one or whether there has been any serious consideration and any 
development of actual plans to solve your problem, in other words, whether 
your efforts have really "made it to sea." 

We would also appreciate being advised how thp functional responsibilities of 
NOAA have been adapted to the program, how NOAA capabilities have con- 
tributed thereto, whether the recent discontinuation of the Marine Mining 
Technologv Center at Tiburon indicates a lack of concern for the problem area, 
whether there have been any results to date, and whether the decree of effort is 
consistent with the "in any event by 1975 at the latest" deadline. 

The only renort we have thus far seen is the "Environmental Impact of Deep 
Sea Mining, Proerress Report," by Dr. Oswald A. Rods of May 1973. That report, 
a summary of which was included in the 1973 "Mineral Resources of the Deep 


65-675 O - 76 - 9 


Seabed" hearings by the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels of the 
Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, consisted primarily of a 
literature review of the properties of the sea floor and watei column in certain 
areas of the ocean. It did, however, also include what was called a technical 
plan, devised to furnish the information necessary for a final environmental 
impact statement. While that suggested plan might be criticized as being too long 
drawn out, it did at least represent a concrete suggestion for handling the prob- 
lem. As to that plan, and your consideration thereof, we would appreciate 
answers to the following specific questions : 

(1) Was there a consideration of the plan by NOAA, by your department, 
or by any other Executive agencies ? If so, was the suggested plan approved, 
disapproved, or approved in part? 

(2) Assuming that some plan has been adopted for implementation since 
May 1973, what are the constituent elements of the approved plan, what is 
the time frame for accomplishment of the various segments, and when will 
the final result be available? 

(3) Again assuming some approved plan has been adopted, what agencies 
or departments are involved in its implementation, what levels of funding 
for the implementation have been recommended by whom, and what levels 
of funding have been approved by NOAA, by you, and by the Office of 
Management and Budget? 

(4) If other departments and agencies are also involved in the imple- 
mentation of the plan, please advise us of the same type of information on 
their funding levels or indicate to us where we might obtain that 

We will appreciate your response to this letter at your earliest convenience. 
The letter and your response will be made a part of the record in future con- 
sideration of this problem. 
Very truly yours, 

Thomas N. Downing, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Oceanography, House Committee on Merchant 
Marine and Fisheries. 

Lee Metcalf, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels, Senate Com- 
mittee on Interior and Insular Affairs. 

Appexdix C 

Letter from Secretary Frederick B. Dent to 
Senator Lee Metcalf 

The Secretary of Commerce, 
Washington, D.C., July 12, 191 1,. 
Hon. Lee Metcalf, 

Chairman, Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels, Committee on In- 
terior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 

Dear Mr. Chairman : Thank you for your letter of June 3, 1974, concerning 
efforts being undertaken by the Administration, particularly the Department of 
Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 
related to the formulation of an environmental impact statement for deep ocean 
mining. I can assure you that the Department of Commerce and the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are active in planning for obtaining 
the knowledge necessary to formulate a satisfactory environmental impact state- 
ment and recognize its importance to our ocean mining industry. 

We have developed over the past several years a close working relationship 
with the ocean mining industry through the Mining Pane' of the Ocean Science 
and Technology Advisory Committee (OSTAC) of the National Security Indus- 
trial Association (NSIA). This panel originally emphasized the importance of 
environmental studies for NOAA programs in support of the mining industry 
in recommendations to the Administrator of NOAA in June 1972. A NOAA pro- 
gram for environmental studies of sand and gravel operations on the Continental 
Shelf which had just been initiated to address the national need for construction 
aggregate was endorsed at that time. In addition the Panel urged that NOAA 
considered the environmental aspects of deep ocean mining. Subsequently, we 
have been involved in several related endeavors. 

In consultation with the OSTAC Mining Panel, we have developed a program 
for deep ocean mining environmental related studies. Dr. Oswald A. Roels of the 
City University of New York has been carrying out scientific investigations in 
the Pacific under NOAA auspices. These investigations within the potential areas 
of deep ocean mining for manganese nodules are in addition to the report cited 
in your letter. In the draft environmental impact statement which has served to 
meet the requirements under the National Environmental Protection Act for the 
U.S. participation in the Law of the Sea Conference being held in Caracas, 
Venezuela, this summer, NOAA contributed the descriptions of natural condi- 
tions and the potential environmental impacts. 

On the basis of our efforts through Dr. Roels and the development of the draft 
environmental impact statement for the Law of the Sea conference, NOAA has 
formulated in consultation with the ocean mining industry, a Deep Ocean Mining 
Environmental Study (DOMES) to assess the environmental factors associated 
with the deep ocean manganese nodule mining. A Project Development Plan pre- 
pared for this study in April 1974 outlines a three-year project to identify poten- 
tial environmental problems sufficiently early to enable timely response to the 
requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act as well as to permit 
the development of environmental guidelines for industrial use in the design of 
mining equipment and operational techniques. 

The project consists of two phases. Phase I is to be an effort to acquire data 
concerning the character of the environment in a typical mining area of the North 
Pacific Ocean prior to disturbance by mining devices. Phase II is to be an effort to 
test and refine predictive models developed in Phase I during a series of pro- 
totype mining equipment tests. While the Marine Mining Technology Center at 
Tiburon, California, has been closed, the environmental aspects of ocean mining 
at the Center have been integrated with the oceanography programs of the for- 
mer Pacific Oceanographic Laboratories at Seattle, Washington, to form the 
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. This combination of capability, lo- 
cated close to a major NOAA fisheries center in Seattle, provides the scientific 
basis needed to carry out the required environmental studies outlined in both 
phases of the Project Development Plan. 

The Project Development Plan is now under review within the Department of 
Commerce, and resources have not yet been requested from the Office of Man- 
agement and Budget. The Plan outlines a three-year program of $2.9 million 



$2.6 million and $2.3 million for each consecutive year. While other departments 
and agencies are not involved specifically in the implementation of the Plan, we 
intend to draw upon available data derived from other agencies in the develop- 
ment of our operational plans. We also have received endorsement for the Proj- 
ect Development Plan from the Council on Environmental Quality and the En- 
vironmental Protection Agency. 

We appreciate your interest in this program and will advise you as to the out- 
come of our review of the Project Development for a deep ocean environmental 


Fbedeeick B. Dent, 
Secretary of Commerce. 

Appendix D 
Text of S. 713 

94th CONGttESS 

1st Session 



February 18,1975 

Mr. Metcalf (for himself, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Fannin, Mr. Hansen, Mr. 

Jackson, Mr. Johnston, and Mr. Moss) introduced the following bill ; 
which was read twice and, by unanimous consent, referred to the Com- 
mittee on Interior and Insular Affairs if and when reported to be jointly 
referred to the Committees on Armed Services, Commerce, and Foreign 
Relations for thirty days 


To provide the Secretary of the Interior with -authority to pro- 
mote the conservation and orderly development of the hard 
mineral resources of the deep seabed, pending adoption of an 
international regime therefor. 

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 

3 That this Act may be cited as the "Deep Seabed Hard Min- 

4 erals Act". 


6 Seo. 2. (a) Findings. — The Congress finds — 

7 (1) that the Nation's hard mineral resource require- 

8 ments will continue to expand in order to supply national 




1 industrial needs and that the demand for certain hard 

2 minerals will increasingly exceed available domestic 

3 sources of supply ; 

4 (2) that, in the case of some minerals, the Nation 

5 is totally dependent upon foreign sources of supply and 

6 that the acquisition of mineral resources from foreign 

7 sources is a substantial factor in the national balance-of- 

8 payments position; 

9 (3) that the national security interests of the United 

10 States require the availability of mineral resources which 

11 are independent of the export policies of foreign nations ; 

12 (4) that there is an alternate source of supply of 

13 certain minerals which are significant in relation to 

14 national needs contained in the manganese nodules which 

15 exist in great abundance on the ocean floor; 

16 (5) that, to the extent that such nodules are located 

17 outside the territorial limits and beyond the Continental 

18 Shelf of any nation, the nodules are available for utiliza- 

19 tion by any nation with the ability to develop them; 

20 (6) that United States mining companies have 

21 developed the technology necessary for the development 

22 and processing of deep seabed nodules and, given the 

23 necessary security of tenure, are prepared to make the 

24 necessary capital investment for such development and 

25 processing; and 



1 (7) that it is in the national interest of the United 

2 States to utilize existing technology and capabilities of 

3 United States mining companies by providing for interim 

4 legislation which will encourage further efforts to insure 

5 national access to available deep seabed hard minerals 
G and to provide the means whereby the national program 

7 may be merged into an international program which 

8 evolves from negotiations on the Law of the Sea and is 

9 subsequently ratified by the United States. 

10 (b) PuRroSES— The Congress declares that the pur- 

11 poses of this Act are — 

12 (1) to establish a national program to promote 

13 the orderly development of certain hard mineral re- 
11 sources of the deep seabed, pending the establishment 

15 of an international regime for that purpose ; and 

16 (2) to insure the establishment of all practicable 

17 requirements necessary to protect the quality of the 

18 marine environment to the extent that that environment 

19 may be affected by deep seabed hard mineral mining 

20 development. 


22 Sec. B. For the purposes of this Act— 

23 (a) "Secretary" means, except where its usage in- 

24 dicates otherwise, the Secretary of the Interior; 

25 (b) "deep seabed" means the seabed, and the subsoil 



1 thereof, lying seaward and outside the Continental Shelf 

2 of any nation; 

3 (c) "Continental Shelf" refers to the seabed and 
• 4 subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast of 

5 any nation (including the coasts of islands), but outside 

6 the area of the territorial sea, to a depth of two hundred 

7 meters or, beyond that limit, to where the depth of the 

8 superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the nat- 

9 ural resources of the said areas ; 

10 (d) "block" means an area of the deep seabed hav- 

11 ing four boundary lines which are lines of longitude and 

12 latitude, the width of which may not be less than one- 

13 sixth the length, comprising not more than forty thou- 

14 sand square kilometers, and extending downward from 

15 the seabed to a depth of ten meters ; 

16 (e) "hard mineral" or "hard mineral resources" 

17 refers to nodules or accretions containing, but not limited 

18 to, iron, manganese, nickel, cobalt, and copper; 

19 (f) "development" means any operation of explora- 

20 tion and commercial recovery, other than prospecting, 

21 having the purpose of discovery, recovery, or delivery of 

22 hard minerals from the deep seabed ; 

23 (g) "prospecting" means any operation conducted 

24 for the purpose of making geophysical or geochemical 

25 measurements, bottom sampling, or comparable activities 



1 so long as such operation is carried on in a manner that 

2 does not significantly alter the surface or subsurface of 

3 the deep seabed; 

4 (h) "person" includes private individuals, assoeia- 

5 tions, corporations, or other entities, and any officer, em- 
G ployee, agent, department, agency, or instrumentality of 

7 the Federal Government, of any State or local unit of 

8 government, or of any foreign government ; 

9 (i) "eligible applicant" means a citizen of the 

10 United States or a corporation or other juridical entity 

11 organized under the laws of the United State?, or its 

12 States, territories, or possessions, and possessing such 

13 technical and financial capabilities as may be prescribed 

14 by the Secretary in order to assure effective and orderly 

15 development of hard mineral resources pursuant to a 
10' license issued under this Act : 

17 (j) "investment" means a commitment of funds, 

18 together with the interest costs thereof, commodities, 

19 services, patents processes, and techniques, dedicated to 

20 the development of a licensed block or the processing of 

21 the recovered minerals; 

22 (k) "exploration" means the on-site observation nnd 

23 evaluation activity following the location and selection 

24 by .in eligible npplieanl of a bard mineral deposit of po- 

25 tential economic interest, which has, us it- objective, the' 



1 establishment and documentation of the naiure, shape, 

2 concentration, and tenor of an ore deposit, and the na- 

3 ture of the environmental factors which will affect its 

4 susceptibility of being developed, including the sampling 

5 of the deposit necessary for the design, fabrication, instal- 

6 lation, and testing of equipment; 

7 (1) "commercial recovery" means recovery of hard 

8 minerals at a substantial rate of production (without 

9 regard to profit or loss) , for the primary purpose of 

10 marketing or commercial use and does not include re- 

11 covery for sampling, experimenting in recovery methods, 

12 or testing equipment or plant for recovery or treatment 

13 of hard minerals; 

14 (m) "reciprocating State" means any foreign State, 

15 designated by the President as a State with requirements 

16 and procedures comparable to those of tne United States 

17 under this Act, and which has undertaken to recognize 
J.8 licenses issued under this Act; and 

19 (n) "international registry clearinghouse" means a 

20 recording agency or organization designated by the 

21 President in cooperation with reciprocating States. 


23 Sec. 4. (a) Except (1) as authorized pursuant to the 

24 provisions <>l' this Act, including subsection (b) hereof, (2) 

25 as authorized under a license issued by a reciprocating State, 



1 or (3) as may be authorized under a treaty, convention, or 

2 other international agreement, which is binding upon the 

3 United States, no person subject to the jurisdiction of the 

4 United States shall engage directly or indirectly in the 

5 development of hard mineral resources of the deep seabed. 
q The prohibition of this subsection does not apply to equip- 
7 ment engineering development, prospecting, or scientific 
g research, nor to the rendering of contractual engineering, 
9 construction, or other services, not amounting to actual 

10 exploration or Commercial recovery, nor to the furnishing 

H of machinery, products, supplies, or materials to any organi- 

12 zation or person lawfully engaged in such development: 

13 Provided, That the development docs not infringe upon a 

14 license recognized as exclusive under the provisions of 

15 section 5 (b) hereof. 

16 (b) In any case hi which an eligible applicant is already 

17 engaged in the exploration of a block, on the date on which 

18 this Act takes effect, that eligible applicant may establish his 

19 priority of right by filing an application for a license to de- 

20 velop that block, without awaiting the issuance of applicable 
2i regulation> under section 18. Thereafter, he may continue 

22 any exploration activities until such time as the Secretary 

23 acts upon the application, with any activity subsequent to 

24 the action ol the Secretary to be determined by the decision 

25 of the Secretary under the provisions (, t section 5 hereof. 




2 Sec. 5. (a) Genekal— Pursuant to the provisions of 

3 this Act, the Secretary shall accept applications from, and 

4 issue licenses to, eligible applicants for the development of 

5 hard mineral resources of the deep seabed. Any license issued 

6 pursuant to this section shall be issued to the first eligible 

7 applicant who makes written application therefor, and ten- 

8 ders a fee of $50,000 for the block specified in the application 

9 and available for licensing. Such fee shall be deposited into 

10 an appropriate fund to be established in the Department of 

11 the Treasury, which fund shall be utilized for administrative 

12 and other costs incurred in the processing of applications for 

13 licenses under this Act. The fund shall be available for such 

14 purposes only as appropriated to the Secretary annually 

15 therefor. Before he may issue a license, the Secretary must 

16 first determine, in the consideration of each license ap- 

17 plication — 

18 ( 1 ) that the applicant is financially responsible and 

19 has demonstrated the ability to comply with applicable 

20 laws, regulations, and license conditions; 

21 (2) that the operations under the license will not 

22 unreasonably interfere with other reasonable uses of the 

23 high seas, as defined by any treaty or convention to 

24 which the United States is signatory, or by customary 

25 international law; 



1 (3) that the issuance of a license does not conflict 

2 with any obligations of the United States, established by 

3 treaty or other international agreement; and 

4 (4) that operations under the license will not pose 

5 an unreasonable threat to the integrity of the marine 

6 environment and that all reasonable precautions will be 

7 taken to minimize any adverse impact on that environ- 

8 ment. 

9 (b) Nature and Duration of License.— (1) Sub- 

10 ject to the provisions of section 12 hereof, any license issued 

11 pursuant to this Act shall be exclusive as against all persons 

12 subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or of any 

13 reciprocating State, and shall authorize development of the 

14 hard mineral resources of the deep seabed for specified blocks 

15 thereof: Provided, That in no event shall an} 7 license issued 

16 under this Act authorize the commercial recovery of such 

17 resources prior to January 1, 1976: And provided further, 

18 That, except to the extent that such licenses are authorized 

19 pursuant to the provisions of an international agreement es- 

20 tablishing a regime for the development of mineral resources 

21 of the international seabed area beyond the limits of coastal 

22 State territorial or resource jurisdiction, no licenses shall be 

23 issued under this Act subsequent to the ratification by the 

24 United States of any such international agreement. 

65-675 O - 76 - 10 



1 (2) Priority of right for the issuance of a license shall 

2 be created and maintained by receipt by the Secretary of a 

3 license application from an eligible applicant : Provided, That 

the application is submitted in conformity with the provisions 

k of this Act and the regulations promulgated by the Secretary 

6 pursuant to section 18 hereof. 

n (3) An application, submitted in accordance with sub- 

o section (b) of section 4 hereof and prior to the effective date 

a of the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 18 of 

10 this Act, shall be entitled to priority of right as established in 

11 paragraph (2) of this subsection: Provided, That the eligible 
io applicant complies with the provisions of this Act, including, 

1 3 fcut not limited to, the tender of the fee required by section 5, 

14 the furnishing of information required by subsection (b) of 

15 section 6, and the minimum expenditures required by sec- 

16 tion 8 : Provided further, That the eligible applicant brings 

17 his application and his other activities into compliance wifch 

18 all applicable regulations issued by the Secretary, as soon as 

19 such regulations become effective. 

20 (4) Every license issued under this Act shall remain in 
2i force for fifteen years and, where commercial recovery of 

22 the hard mineral resources has begun from a licensed block 

23 within the fifteen-year period, such license shall remain in 

24 force for as long as commercial recovery from the block 

25 continues. 



1 (e) Transfer or Surrender of License.— Any 

2 license issued under this Act may be surrendered at will or, 

3 upon written request of the licensee, may be transferred by 

4 the Secretary to any other eligible applicant. Such license, as 

5 issued or as transferred, may be revoked for willful, sub- 

6 stantial failure to comply with the provisions of this Act, 

7 with any regulation promulgated thereunder, or with any 

8 license restriction or license condition: Provided, That the 

9 Secretary has first given the licensee written notice of such 

10 violation and the licensee has failed to remedy the violation 

11 within a reasonable period of time. Upon such failure, the 

12 Secretary shall notify the licensee in writing that he pro- 

13 poses to revoke such license and that the licensee has thirty 

14 days in which to request a hearing in accordance with section 

15 554 of title 5, United States Code, on the issues raised by the 

16 proposed revocation. The Secretary shall issue his decision 
IT regarding revocation within thirty days after the notice of 

18 proposed revocation, or after the completion of the hearings, 

19 if such hearings are requested by the licensee in accordance 

20 with this subsection. Any decision issued by the Secretary 

21 after hearings shall be subject to judicial review in accordance 

22 with the provisions of sections 701 through 70fi of title 5, 

23 United States Code. 

24 (d) License Conditions.— The Secretary is author- 

25 ized to include in anv license issued, or transferred, under 



1 this Act, any reasonable conditions which he finds neces- 

2 sary to carry out the purposes of this Act. Such conditions 

3 shall be prescribed on the basis of rules and regulations pro- 

4 mulgated pursuant to section 18 of this Act. 


6 Sec. 6. (a) Geneeal. — The Secretary is authorized to 

7 establish procedures governing the application for, and the 

8 issuance of, licenses pursuant to this Act. Such procedures 

9 shall contain an adequate mechanism for full consultation 

10 with all other interested Federal agencies and departments, 

11 and for the full consideration of the views of any interested 

12 members of the general public. 

13 (b) License Application.— Each application shall 

14 contain such financial, technical, and other information as 

15 is specified under rules and regulations promulgated pursuant 

16 to section 18 of this Act. 

17 (c) Public Access to Information.— (1) Copies 

18 of any communications, documents, reports, or information 

19 received from any applicant shall be made available to the 

20 public upon identifiable request, and at reasonable cost, unless 

21 such information may not be publicly released under the 

22 provisions of this subsection. 

23 (2) The Secretary shall not disclose information ob- 

24 taincd by him under this section which concerns or relates 



1 to trade secrets or other confidential matter referred to in 

2 section 1905 of title 18, United States Code. 

3 (3) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be con- 

4 strued to require the release to the public of any information 

5 described by subsection (b) of section 552 of title 5, United 

6 States Code, or which is otherwise protected by law from 

7 such release. 

8 (4) Prior to the issuance of the license, the following 

9 specific information required to be furnished to the Secretary 

10 under this Act and which is not otherwise protected from dis- 

11 closure under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection 

12 may not be released outside the Government and may be 

13 disclosed within the Government only on a strictly need-to- 

14 know'basis: 

15 (i) coordinates of licensed blocks; 

16 (ii) any other data which discloses directly or 

17 indirectly the coordinates of licensed blocks ; and 

18 (iii) geological data related to the licensed block. 

19 (d) Notice, Decision and Review.— (l) Within 

20 thirty days after receipt of an application, and prior to 
2 J granting a license, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal 

22 Register a notice containing a summary of the application 

23 and information as to where the application and the avail- 

24 able supporting data may be examined allowing interested 

65-675 O - 76 - 11 



1 persons at least sixty days for the submission of written data, 

2 views, or arguments to the granting of the license. The 

3 Secretary shall utilize such additional methods as he deems 

4 reasonable to inform interested persons and groups about 

5 the application and to invite their comments thereon. 

6 (2) The Secretary's decision granting or denying a 

7 license shall be in writing and shall be made within sixty 

8 days following receipt of all views. The Secretary shall 

9 grant the license applied for when he finds that the applica- 

10 tion, as submitted, or as modified, meets the requirements 

11 of this Act and the rules and regulations promulgated 

12 hereunder. 

13 (3) Judicial review of the Secretary's decision shall be 

14 in accordance with sections 701 through 706 of title 5, 

15 United States Code. 

16 (4) The Secretary shall maintain a registry in which 

17 is recorded the filing or withdrawal of an application for a 

18 license under this Act, the issuance, denial, expiration, sur- 

19 render, transfer, or revocation of such license, or the relin- 

20 quishment of any licensed portion of the deep seabed. Subject 

21 to the limitations of subsection (c) hereof, registry records 

22 shall be available for public inspection during the business 

23 hours of every working day. 

24 (5) The Secretary shall, and the applicant or licensee 

25 may, notify the international registry clearinghouse within 



1 fourteen days of the filing or withdrawal of an application 

2 for a license under this Act, the issuance, denial, transfer, 

3 expiration, surrender, or revocation of such license, or the 

4 relinquishment of any licensed portion of the deep seabed. 

5 (6) The function of the international registry clearing- 

6 house shall consist solely of keeping records of notices, or 

7 applications for licenses, issuances, denials, transfers,, or 

8 terminations of licenses, and the relinquishment of licensed 

9 portions of the deep seabed. Pending designation of such 

10 clearinghouse, notice to the Secretary shall constitute notice 

11 to the clearinghouse within the meaning of this Act. 


13 Sec. 7. The Secretary shall consult with appropriate 

14 Federal agencies and departments regarding environmental 

15 criteria and shall establish objective environmental stand- 

16 ards, based on technical and scientific data, applied in a 

17 consistent manner under the rules and regulations of section 

18 18, to which operations under a license issued under this Act 

19 shall adhere. The Secretary may, from time to time, propose 

20 revisions of the rules and regulations regarding environ- 

21 mental standards, as scientific data may warrant. 


23 Sec. 8. (a) Expenditures.— In connection with the 

24 development of hard mineral resources from each licensed 

25 block, the licensee shall make or cause to be made minimum 



1 expenditures in the following amounts per block until com- 

2 mercial recovery from such block is first initiated : 

Year : Amount per year 

1 r $100,000 

2-5 200, 000 

6-10 500, 000 

11-15 1, 000, 000 

3 The minimum annual expenditures required under this section 

4 shall consist of expenditures for operations, facilities, and 

5 equipment as required or utilized for the evaluation of the 

6 block for which the development license is issued. Such ex- 

7 penditures in any year in excess of the required minimum 

8 may be credited to requirements for later years. 

9 (b) Records. — Each recipient of a license under this 

10 Act shall keep such records as the Secretary shall prescribe, 

11 including records which fully disclose the expenditures for 

12 development required by this section, and such other records 

13 as will facilitate an effective audit of such expenditures. 

14 (c) Audits. — The Secretary and 'the Comptroller Gen- 

15 eral of the United States, or any of their duly authorized 

1 6 representatives, shall have access for the purpose of audit and 

17 examination to any books, documents, papers, and records of 

1 8 the licensees that are pertinent to the expenditures required 

1 9 under this section. 


21 Sec. 9. Upon completion of its exploration activities at 

22 any licensed block, the licensee shall so notify the Secretary 



1 and request from the Secretary an authorization to begin 

2 commercial recovery. Upon receipt of such request, and sub- 

3 ject to the provisions of section 12, the Secretary shall grant 

4 such authorization : Provided, That the licensee is in compli- 

5 ance with all conditions of the license and has furnished the 

6 Secretary with copies of all raw data generated in the normal 

7 course of the applicant's work on the block and relating di- 

8 rectly to the documentation of the nature, shape, concentra- 

9 tion, and tenor of the ore deposit of the licensed block and 

10 the nature of the physical environmental factors which will 

11 affect such commercial recovery. 



14 Sec. 10. (a) No license shall be issued under this Act 

15 for any portion of the deep seabed — 

16 (1) which has been relinquished by the applicant 

17 under a license issued under this Act within the prior 

18 three years ; 

19 (2) which is subject either to a prior application for 

20 a license, or an outstanding license, under this Act, or 

21 from a reciprocating State ; and 

22 (3) which, if licensed, would result in a holding by 

23 licensees under this Act of more than 30 per centum of 

24 an area of the deep seabed which is within a circle with 



1 a diameter of one thousand two hundred and fifty 

2 kilometers. 

3 (b) No license shall be issued or transferred under this 

4 Act, and no person subject to the jurisdiction of the United 

5 States shall have a substantial interest in a license issued 

6 under this Act, which would result in any person directly or 

7 indirectly holding, controlling, or having a substantial interest 

8 in licenses for development of any portion of the deep sea- 

9 bed which that person could not hold directly under this Act 

10 in accordance with the limitations of this section. 


12 Sec. 11. Within fifteen years of the license date for 

13 any block, and not later than the grant of authorization to 

14 exploit as provided for in section 9 hereof, the licensee shall, 

15 by written notice to the Secretary, relinquish 75 per centum 

16 of such block measured laterally. The relinquishment shall be 

17 such that the unrelinquished area or areas shall conform 

18 to the shape of a block as defined in section 3 hereof. The 

19 licensee shall select the area of the block to be relinquished 

20 and as many as four contiguous blocks of the same type held 

21 by the licensee may be treated as a single unit for selecting 

22 the area to be relinquished. 


24 Sec. 12. At such time as an international agreement, 

25 providing for the establishment of an international regime 



1 for the development of the hard mineral resources of the 

2 deep seabed, shall become binding upon the United States, 

3 no additional licenses shall be issued pursuant to this Act, and 

4 licenses previously issued under this Act shall be made sub- 

5 ject to the provisions of that agreement. To the extent that 

6 they are consistent with the provisions of the international 

7 regime, licenses previously issued shall continue in effect, and, 

8 to the extent possible under the international agreement, the 

9 United States shall exercise its rights and responsibilities 

10 under the agreement to insure their continuation under the 

11 international regime. 

IS Sec. 13. To the extent that an international agreement, 

14 binding upon the United States, shall differ from the require- 

15 ments of this Act, the United States shall provide the licensee 

16 with compensation in an effectively realizable form represent- 

17 ing the reduction in value of the investment resulting from 

18 the differing requirements: Provided, That the liability for 

19 compensation shall, until after an authorization tor com- 

20 mercial recovery has been granted, be limited to compensa- 

21 tion in relation to equipment and facilities utilized tor explo- 

22 ration purposes: Provided further, That the Secretary of 

23 Commerce shall determine in the first instance the amount 

24 owing on the claims for compensation under this section: 

25 Provided further, That after an authorization for commercial 



1 recovery has been granted, the value of the investment shall 

2 be determined by subtracting from the value of the original 

3 investment any gross profits realized from development and 

4 processing operations : And provided further, That the liabil- 

5 ity under this section shall terminate ten years after commer- 

6 cial recovery has begun. 


8 Sec. 14. (a) On annual payment by any licensee of a 

9 premium to be determined by the Secretary of Commerce, 

10 utilizing standard insurance practices and based upon the 

11 relative risks involved, the United States shall insure the 

12 licensee, in an amount not exceeding the value of the invest- 

13 ment, for any damages suffered through the impairment of 

14 the insured investment, or through the removal of hard 

15 minerals from the licensed block, by any other person against 

16 whom a legal remedy either does not exist or is unavailable 

17 in any legal forum to which the licensee has access. The 
IS Secretary of Commerce shall determine the amount owing on 

19 any claim for reimbursement imder this section. 

20 (b) Insurance under this section shall be available solely 

21 upon the request of the licensee and after the Secretary of 

22 Commerce has determined that the insurance coverage re- 

23 quested is not readily available at a reasonable premium 

24 elsewhere. 




2 Sec. 15. There shall be established in the Treasury of 

3 the United States a Guaranty and Insurance Fund, which 

4 shall have separate accounts to be known as the Guaranty 

5 Eeserve and the Insurance Reserve, which reserves shall be 

6 available for discharge of liabilities, as provided in sections 

7 13 and 14 of this Act, until such time as all such liabilities 

8 have been discharged or have expired or until all such 

9 reserves shall have been expended in accordance with the 

10 provisions of this section. The Insurance Reserve shall be 

11 funded by the premiums received from licensees, as provided 

12 in section 14 of this Act, and the Guaranty Reserve shall be 

13 funded by such sums as shall be appropriated pursuant to 

14 section 22 of this Act. 


16 Sec. 16. For purposes of export controls, section 27 of 

17 the Act of June 5, 1920, customs laws, and tax laws of 

18 the United States, and the applicable implementing regu- 

19 lations thereof, all hard minerals recovered from the deep 

20 seabed under a license issued pursuant to this Act shall 

21 be deemed to have been recovered within the United States, 
— and such laws, regulations, and controls shall be admin- 
-•' istered so that there will be no discrimination between 



1 hard minerals recovered from the deep seabed and similar 

2 hard minerals recovered within the United States. 


4 Sec. 17. (a) In any case of agreement between United 

5 States and foreign entities, with the resulting combination 

6 of interests receiving a development license under the au- 

7 thority of this Act, the applicability of sections 13, 14, and 

8 16, of this Act shall be limited to the proportion of interest 

9 owned by the United States entity or entities. 

10 (b) In the case of an agreement between United States 

11 and foreign entities with the resulting combination of in- 

12 terests receiving a development license from a reciprocating 

13 State, the provisions of section 16 of this Act, other than 
1-1 the applicability of section 27 of the Act of June 5, 1920, 

15 shall be applied as if the proportion of interest owned by 

16 the United States entity or entities were licensed pursuant 

17 to this Act. 


19 Sec. 18. (a) The Secretary is authorized to issue such 

20 reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary to 

21 carry out the provisions of this Act, other than the provisions 

22 of sections 13, 14, and 15. 

23 (b) The rules and regulations issued under subsection 

24 ( ;1 ) shall include provisions covering: 



1 ( 1 ) eligibility standards and compliance ; 

2 (2) licensing procedures, requirements, and coni- 

3 pliance ; 

4 (3) 'work requirements compliance; 

5 (4) environmental standards and compliance; 

6 (5) multiple use standards and compliance; and 

7 (6) other matters specifically delegated to the 

8 Secretary under the Act. 

9 (c) The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to issue 

10 such reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary to 

11 implement the provisions of sections 13, 14, and 15 of this 

12 Act. 

13 (d) Rules and regulations issued under this section 

14 shall be promulgated in accordance with provisions of sec- 
la tion 553 of title 5, United States Code. 


17 Sec. 19. United States district courts shall have prig- 
1N inal jurisdiction of cases and controversies arising out of, 

19 or in connection with, development activities conducted in 

20 any area of the deep seabed under the authority of this Act, 

21 and proceedings with respect to any such case or controversy 

22 may be instituted in the judicial district in which any de- 

23 fendant resides, <>r may be tumid, or in the judicial district 
-i nearest the place where the cause of action arose. 




2 Sec. 20. (a) Civil Penalties.— Any person subject 

3 to the jurisdiction of the United States who violates any 

4 provision of this Act, or any rule or regulation issued pur- 

5 suant to section 18 hereof, shall be liable to a civil pen- 
G alty of $10,000 for each day during which the violation 

7 continues. The penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary, 

8 who in determining the amount of the penalty, shall consider 

9 the gravity of the violation, any prior violation, and the 

10 demonstrated good faith of the person charged in attempting 

11 to achieve rapid compliance after notification of the viola- 

12 tion. No penalty may be assessed until the person charged 

13 shall have been given notice of the violation involved, and 

14 an opportunity for a hearing. For good cause shown, the 

15 Secretary may remit or mitigate any penalty assessed. Upon 

16 failure of the person charged to pay an assessed penalty, the 

17 Secretary may request the Attorney General to commence an 

18 action in the appropriate district court of the United States 

19 for collection of the penalty without regard to the amount 

20 involved, together with such other relief as may be 

21 appropriate. 

22 (b) Criminal Penalties. — In addition to any other 

23 penalty, any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United 

24 States who willfully and knowingly violates any provision of 

25 this Act, or any rule or regulation issued pursuant to section 



1 18 hereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than 

2 $25,000 for each day during which such violation continues. 

3 (c) Liability of Vessels.— Any vessel, except a 

4 public vessel engaged in noncommercial activities, used in a 

5 violation of this Act, or of any rule or regulation issued pur- 
G suant to section 18 hereof, shall be liable in rem for any civil 

7 penalty assessed or criminal fine imposed and may be pro- 

8 ceeded against in any district court of the United States 

9 having jurisdiction thereof; but, no vessel shall be liable un- 

10 less it shall appear that one or more of the owners, or bare- 

11 boat charterers was, at the time of the violation, a consenting 

12 party, or privy to such violation. 


14 Sec. 21. The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary 

15 of the Interior shall each report to the Congress annually, 

16 on or before June 30, with the first report to be made on or 

17 before June 30, 1975, on his activities under this Act, in- 

18 eluding recommendations for additional legislation as deemed 

19 necessary. 


21 Sec. 22. (a) There are authorized to be appropriated 

22 for the current fiscal year and for each of the two succeeding 

23 fiscal years, such sums as may be necessary for the admin- 

24 istration of this Act. 



1 (b) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 

2 Secretary of Commerce, to remain available until expended, 

3 such sums as may be necessary from time to time to replenish 

4 or increase the Guarantee Eeserve of the Insurance and 

5 Guaranty Fund, or to discharge the liabilities under section 

6 13 of this Act. 


8 Sec. 23. This Act shall take effect on the date of its 

9 enactment. If any provision of this Act or any application 

10 thereof is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the 

11 Act, or of any other application, shall not be affected 

12 thereby. 

Appendix E 

Deepsea Ventures, Inc. : Notice of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive 
Mining Rights, and Request for Diplomatic Protection and Protec- 
tion of Investment 

Deepsea Ventures, Inc. : Notice of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining 
Rights, and Request for Diplomatic Protection and Protection of 
Investment x 

[Filed, November 15, 1974] 

November 14, 1974. 
Hon. Henry A. Kissinger, 
Secretary of State, 
U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 


My Dear Mr. Secretary: Deepsea Ventures, Inc., a Delaware corporation 
having its principal place of business in the County of Gloucester, The Common- 
wealth of Virginia, U.S.A., respectfully makes of record, by filing with your 
office this Notice of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights and Re- 
quest for Diplomatic Protection and Protection of Investment, by Deepsea 
Ventures, Inc. (hereinafter "Claim"), as authorized by its Board of Directors 
by resolution dated 30 October 1974, a certified copy of which is annexed hereto 
as Exhibit A [not reproduced]. 

Notice of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights 

Deepsea Ventures, Inc., (hereinafter "Deepsea"), hereby gives public notice 
that it has discovered and taken possession of, and is now engaged in develop- 
ing and evaluating, as the first stages of mining, a deposit of seabed man- 
ganese nodules (hereinafter "Deposit"). The Deposit, illustrated by the sketch 
annexed as Exhibit B, is encompassed by, and extends to, lines drawn between 
the coordinates numbered in series below, as follows : [I.L.M. page 57] 

From: (1) Latitude 15°44' N., Longitude 124°20' W. A line drawn West 
to: (2) Latitude 15°44' N., Longitude 127°46' W. And thence South to: 
(3) Latitude 14°16' N., Longitude 127°46' W. And thence East to: (4) 
Latitude 14°16' N., Longitude 124°20' W. and thence North to the point 
or origin. 

These lines include approximately 60,000 square kilometers for purposes of 
development and evaluation of the Deposit encompassed therein, which area 
will be reduced by Deepsea to 30,000 square kilometers upon expiration of a 
term of 15 years (absent force majeure) from the date of this notice or upon 
commencement (absent force majeure) of commercial production from the De- 
posit, whichever event occurs first. The Deposit lies on the abyssal ocean floor 
in water depths ranging between 2,300 to 5,000 meters and is more than 1000 
kilometers from the nearest island, and more than 1300 kilometers seaward 
of the outer edge of the nearest continental margin. It is beyond the limits of 
seabed jurisdiction presently claimed by any State. The overlying waters are, of 
course, high seas. 

The general area of the Deposit was identified in August of 1964 by the 
predecessor in interest of Deepsea, and the Deposit was discovered by Deep- 
sea on August 31, 1969. 

1 Reproduction from the text provided to International Legal Materials by Deepsea Ven- 
tures. Inc. The Notice wis filed In the office of the U.S. Secretary of State on Nov. 15, 1974. 
An original was also filed and recorded ns : (1) Deed Poll No. 1659 In the Offlre of the 
Clerk of the Circuit Court of C.louce-ter County. Virginia on Nov. 15. 1074 : and (2) Deed 
Poll No. 02421 In the Office of the Recorder of New Castle County. Delaware on Nov. 22, 
1974. Conies wore also sent to the addressees listed in Exhibit E at TDM. pape 63. 

As of Jan. 15. 1975. there had been two responses to the notice: (1) a U.S. Department 
of Stite statement made available in response to press inquiries, and (2) a response from 
the Embassy of Canada at Washington. D.C. These appear respectively at T.UM. papes 60 
and 67. As "other responses become available. T.LM. will attempt to carry the text. 

The Opinion of the Law Offices of Northcutt Ely on "International Law Applicable to 
Deepsea Minlnr." submitted to Deepsea Ventures. Inc.. on Nov. 14, 1974, is available at 
the Library of the American Society of International Law. 


65-675 O - 76 - 12 


Further exploration, evaluation, engineering development and processing re- 
search have been carried out to enable the recovery of the specific manganese 
nodules of the Deposit and the production of products and byproducts therefrom. 

The work done, and in progress, is summarized in the annexed affidavits, Ex- 
hibits C and D. [I.L.M. pages 58 and 61.] 

Deepsea, or its successor in interest, will commence commercial production 
from the Deposit within 15 years (absent force majeure) from the date of this 
Claim, and will conclude production therefrom within a period (absent force 
majeure) of 40 years from the date of commencement of commercial production 
whereupon the right shall cease. 

Deepsea has been advised by Counsel, whose names appear at the end hereof, 
that it has validly established the exclusive rights asserted in this Claim under 
existing international law as evidenced by the practice of States, the 1958 
Convention on the High Seas, and general rules of law recognized by civilized 

Deepsea asserts the exclusive rights to develop, evaluate and mine the De- 
posit and to take, use, and sell all of the manganese nodules in, and the minerals 
and metals derived, therefrom. It is proceeding with appropriate diligence to do 
so, and requests and requires States, persons, and all other commercial or po- 
litical entities to respect the exclusive rights asserted herein. Deepsea does not 
assert, or ask the United States of America to assert, a territorial claim to the 
seabed or subsoil underlying the Deposit. Use of the overlying water column, as 
a freedom of the high seas, will be made to the extent necessary to recover and 
transport the manganese nodules of the Deposit. 

Disturbance of the seabed and subsoil underlying the Deposit will be tem- 
porary and will be restricted to that unavoidably occasioned by recovery of the 
manganese nodules of the Deposit. To facilitate the United States of America's 
domestic policies and programs of environmental protection, Deepsea will pro- 
vide, at no cost, reasonable space for U.S. Government representatives of the 
United States of America on vessels utilized by Deepsea in the development and 
evaluation of the Deposit. Deepsea does not intend to process at sea the man- 
ganese nodules from the Deposit. 

It is Deepsea's intention, by filing this Claim in your office and in appropriate 
State recording offices, to publish this Claim and provide notice and proof of the 
priority of the right of Deepsea to the Deposit, and its title thereto. 

A true copy of this Claim is being filed for recordation in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State of the State of Delaware, U.S.A., the State wherein Deepsea is 
incorporated, and on 15 November 1974 in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit 
Court of Gloucester County, Virginia, U.S.A., the county and Commonwealth 
of Deepsea's principal place of business. Copies of this claim are also being pro- 
vided to others, as specified in the annexed Exhibit E. [I.L.M. page 63.] 

We ask that this Claim, and all of the annexed Exhibits, be made available 
by your office for public examination. 

Request for Diplomatic Protection and Protection of Integrity of Investment 

Deepsea respectfully requests the diplomatic protection of the United States 
Government with respect to the exclusive mining rights described and asserted 
in the foregoing Claim, and any other rights which may hereafter accrue to 
Deepsea as a result of its activities at the site of the Deposit, and similar pro- 
tection of the integrity of its investments heretofore made and now being under- 
taken, and to be undertaken in the future. 

This request is made prior to any known interference with the rights now being 
asserted, and prior to any known impairment of Deepsea's investment. It is 
intended to give the Department immediate notice of Deepsea's Claim for the pur- 
pose of facilitating the protection of Deepsea's rights and investments should 
this be required as a consequence of any future actions of the United States Gov- 
ernment or other States, persons, or organizations. 

The protection requested accords with the assurances given on behalf of the Ex- 
ecutive Department to the Congress of the United States, including those by 
Ambassador John R. Stevenson, by Honorable Charles N. Brower, and by Honor- 
able John Norton Moore, as follows : 

"The Department does not anticipate any efforts to discourage U.S. nationals 
from continuing with their current exploration plans. In the event that U.S. 
nationals should desire to engage in commercial exploitation prior to the estab- 
lishment of an internationally agreed regime, we would seek to assure that 
their activities are conducted in accordance with relevant principles of inter- 
national law, including the freedom of the seas and that the integrity of their 


investment receives due protection in any subsequent international agreement." 
Letter of January 16, 1970, from John R. Stevenson, Legal Advisor, Department 
of State, to Lee Metcalf, Chairman, Special Subcommittee on the Outer Con- 
tinental Shelf, U.S. Senate, reproduced in Hearings before the Special Senate 
Subcommittee on the Outer Continental Shelf, 91st Cong., 1st and 2d Sess. at 
210 (1970). 

"At the present time, under international law and the High Seas Conven- 
tion, it is open to anyone who has the capacity to engage in mining of the 
deep seabed subject to the proper exercise of high seas rights of other countries 
involved." Statement of Charles N. Brower, Hearings before the House Sub- 
committee on Oceanography of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fish- 
eries, 93d Cong., 1st Sess., at 50 (1974). 

"It is certainly the position of the United States that the mining of the deep 
seabed is a high seas freedom and I think that would be a freedom today under 
international law. And our position has been that companies are free to engage 
in this kind of mining beyond the 200-meter mark subject to the international 
regime to be agreed upon, and of course, assured protection of the integrity of 
investment in that period." Statement of John Norton Moore, Hearings before 
the Senate Subcommitee on Minerals, Materials and Fuels, 93d Cong., 1st 
Sess., at 247 (1973). 

The language of these extracts, and other statements similar to them made 
by these and other responsible officers of the Executive Branch is consistent 
with the Executive's continuing practice as reflected in a paragraph in President 
Taft's Message to the Congress of December 7, 1909, where he said : 

"The Department of State, in view of proofs filed with it in 1906, showing 
American possession, occupation and working of certain coal-bearing lands in 
Spitzbergen [Spitzbergen was at that time recognized as being not subject to 
the territorial sovereignty of any State] accepted the invitation under the 
reservation above stated [i.e., the questions of altering the status of the islands 
as countries belonging to no particular State and as equally open to the citizens 
and subjects of all States, should not be raised] and under the further reserva- 
tion that all interests in those islands already vested should be protected and 
that there should be equality of opportunity for the future." Annual Message of 
the President to Congress, 7 December 1909, [1901] For. Rels. of the U.S. IX 
at XIII (1914). 

Deepsea has used its best efforts to ascertain that there are no pipelines, 
cables, military installations, or other activities constituting an exercise of 
freedom of the high seas in the area encompassing the Deposit or in the super- 
jacent waters, with which Deepsea's operations might conflict. So far as is 
known, no claim of rights has been made by any State or person with respect 
to said Deposit or any other mineral resources in the area encompassing the 
Deposit and no State or person has established effective occupation of said 

Initially, approximately 1.35 million wet metric tons of nodules will be 
recovered by Deepsea from the Deposit per year. In accord with market condi- 
tions, this may later be expanded to as much as 4 million wet metric tons per 
year recovered. Deepsea's processing and refining technology, successfully dem- 
onstrated in its pilot plant, will recover copper, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and 
other products, depending: on the market situation and competitive conditions. 
The recovered weight of the major four metals that the initial 1.3." million wet 
metric tons of nodules will yield per year will be approximately as shown in 
Column A below. Column B gives some indication of the dependency of the 
United States of America upon imports for these four metals. 

Net IIS. 

imports (1972) 

as a 



of US. 

(metric tons) 







2. 150 


253. 000 








The importance of these minerals to the economy of the United States does 
not require elaboration. It has been effectively expressed to the Congress by 
the Executive Branch. 

For your information, the capital stock of Deepsea is at present wholly owned 
by nationals of the United States. Ninety per cent thereof is owned by Tenneco 
Corporation, a Delaware corporation, and the other ten percent is owned by 
individuals, all of whom are United States citizens. At this date stock options 
are outstanding which, if all are exercised, will result in acquisition of the follow- 
ing percentages of ownership of Deepsea's capital stock by others: 

23.75 percent : Essex Iron Company, a New Jersey corporation, a wholly owned 

subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, a Delaware corporation. 
23.75 percent : Union Mines Inc., a Maryland corporation, a wholly owned sub- 
sidiary of Union Miniere, S.A., a Belgian corporation. 
23.75 percent: Japan Manganese Nodule Development Co., Ltd., a Japanese 


Deepsea Ventubes, Inc." 

3 The Notice was signed by John E. Fllpse. President, and Northcutt Ely, L. F. B. 
Goldie, and R. J. Greenwald, as Counsel. The signature of the President was duly 



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Horth Pjtit* Otcj/i-IaiVm Pjit 

N.O. 520 

Exhibit C 

.Swobn Statement 
District of Columbia, 88: 

John E. Flipse, being duly sworn, deposes that : 

1. He resides at the Cove, Gloucester, Virginia, U.S.A., and that he is a citi- 
zen of the United States of America, and that he is 53 years of age. 

2. He was, from September 1957 to October 1968, employed by the Newport 
News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, a Delaware Corporation having its 
principal place of business in Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A. 


3. From 1962 to October 1968, he was responsible for and directed the activ- 
ities of the Research Division of Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock 
Company and specifically the program of investigating the technical and eco- 
nomic feasibility of deep ocean manganese nodule mining as conducted by that 
Company, during which time he served in the capacity of Director of Research 
and Assistant to the President (among other responsibilities) with continuous 
control over said ocean mining program and was responsible for planning, oper- 
ations, budgeting and obtaining corporate support during the conduct of said 

4. He prepared the documentation and directed the transfer of the interest of 
Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company to Deepsea Ventures, Inc., 
a Delaware Corporation, having its principal place of business in Gloucester 
County, Virginia, U.S.A., in September of 1968, during which month both com- 
panies became subsidiaries of Tenneco, Inc., a Delaware Corporation having its 
principal place of business in Houston, Texas, U.S.A. The assets of said ocean 
mining program including, but not limited to, the Research Vessel PROSPEC- 
TOR, the trip reports, engineering reports, designs, notebooks, files and rights to 
the patents developed prior to said transfer date, were transferred from New- 
port News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company to Deepsea Ventures, Inc., along 
with certain personnel knowledgeable in the technical and business aspects of 
the program. 

5. From October 7, 1968, until this date, he has served as President of Deepsea 
Ventures, Inc., and directed the continuation and expansion of the transferred 
program to prove the technical and economic feasibility of deep ocean mining, 
said program including the prospecting and exploration of the deep ocean floor of 
the Pacific Ocean, the development and testing of components and mining sys- 
tems, and the development and testing of processes for winning the metals from 
manganese nodules, and he directed the preparation of summary resources data, 
engineering reports, filing of patent applications, and the economic analysis of a 
proposed commercial deep ocean mining system. 

6. As a result of the foregoing activities, attention was concentrated in the 
California Seamount area of the Clarion Fracture Zone of the Baja California 
Oceanographic Province, identified during cruises of R/V PROSPECTOR (owned 
by Deepsea's predecessor in interest) during August 1964 and April/May 1965. 
Further cruises based thereon resulted, on August 31, 1969, at 1820 local time, 
in recovery of a particularly significant grab sample of nodules from a station 
at 15°28' N. Latitude 125°00.5' W. Longitude. Survey activity on this cruise con- 
tinued as far south as 15°12.5' N., 125°02' W. 

7. Since August 31, 1969, further surveys during 16 cruises, of three to four 
weeks duration each, have further defined the extent of the deposit discovered on 
that date. These activities included the taking of some 294 discrete samples, in- 
cluding the bulk dredging of some 164 tons of manganese nodules from some 263 
dredge stations, 28 core stations and three grab sample stations, cutting of some 
28 cores, approximately 1,000 lineal miles of survey of sea floor recorded by tele- 
vision and still photography, etc. As a result, the deposit of nodules (hereinafter 
"Deposit") identified with the discovery has been proved to extend generally 
throughout the entire area encompassed by lines drawn as follows : 

From : (1) Latitude 15°44' N., Longitude 124°20' W. A line drawn West to : 
(2) Latitude 15°44' N., Longitude 127°46' W. And thence South to : (3) Lati- 
tude 14°16' N., Longitude 127°46' W. and thence East to: (4) Latitude 14° 
16' N., Longitude 124°20' W. And thence North to the point of origin includ- 
ing approximately 60,000 square kilometers, lying on the seabed of the abys- 
sal ocean, in water depths between 2,300 to 5,000 meters. This Deposit is 
some 1,300 kilometers from the nearest continental margin, and some 1,000 
kilometers from the nearest island. 

8. Principal characteristics of the Deposit, based upon data acquired to date, 

Average Assay, percent (dry weight) : 

Manganese 29. 

Nickel 1. 28 

Copper 1. 07 

Cobalt . 25 

Iron 6. 3 

Average population (percent) 30-40 

Average concentration (wet) kg/meter 2 ) 9.7 


9. It has been determined, after more than 10 years of exploration and survey, 
at-sea equipment testing and mineral and metal processing development, that 
deposits of manganese require tailoring the design of the mining and processing 
systems for each specific deposit, that geographic location, sea floor topography, 
sea floor sediment properties, nodule size, grade and concentration variation and 
nodule chemistry are sufficiently different so as to make a mining and processing 
system, which is based on one deposit, suffer important economic penalties if uti- 
lized for another deposit. 

10. To this end dredge heads and mining systems have been designed by 
Deepsea Ventures, Inc., for the specific sediments, nodule properties, and water 
depths at, over and/or under the Deposit, and process design and pilot plant 
operations have been tailored to the nodules of grade and chemical composition 
of the manganese nodules in the Deposit. The cost to date of prospecting, explo- 
ration, design and test efforts required to identify and evaluate the potential of 
the Deposit has been approximately U.S. $20,000,000. Further exploration, eval- 
uation, and development of the Deposit and associated facilities will consume 
some three years and cost between U.S. $22,000,000 and U.S. $30,000,000. Such 
further exploration, evaluation and development of the Deposit commenced on 
1 November 1974. 

11. Deepsea intends to commence commercial production of the Deposit within 
15 years at an initial rate of approximately 1.35 million wet metric tons of man- 
ganese nodules per year, which rate may be expanded according to market con- 
ditions to as much as 4 million wet metric tons per year. The Company intends to 
process said nodules at a land-based processing plant which will yield as the 
products thereof copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese and other products. 

(signed by) John E. Flipse, 1 
President, Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 

Exhibit D 

Swobn Statement 

Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S.A., 
County of Gloucester, ss: 

Raymond Kaufman, being duly sworn, deposes that : 

1. He resides at 112 Cove Road, Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A., and that he 
is a citizen of the United States of America, and that he is 48 years of age. 

2. From December 1968 to 15 November 1974, he served as Vice President Tech- 
nical to Deepsea Ventures, Inc., a Delaware Corporation having its principal 
place of business in Gloucester County, Virginia, U.S.A. 

3. During this period he directed the technical activities of Deepsea Ventures, 
Inc., associated with ocean mineral deposit prospecting and surveying, mining 
equipment development and mineral processing development. 

4. Commencing November 1, 1974, he has directed and will direct a technical 
program of Deepsea Ventures, Inc., to develop and evaluate a potential Pacific 
Ocean manganese nodule deposit described in the affidavit of Mr. John E. Flipse, 
dated November 15, 1974 (hereinafter "Deposit"), which will take and use from 
1.35 to 4 million wet metric tons of manganese nodules per year for a 40-year 
period. This development and evaluation program will be accomplished in three 
principal phases : 


The objective of this Phase is to confirm that the Deposit contains sufficient 
ore reserves in a favorable oceanographic environment to support the mining 
and processing operation for a period of 40 years. Phase I is being conducted 
over an approximate three-year period and will require 15 to 30 course grid 
survey cruises by the Company's R/V PROSPECTOR to acquire the data re- 
quired to assess the economic potential of the Deposit. The acquisition of bulk 
samples from the Deposit will be achieved as a product of a pilot-scale mining 
ship/system test to be conducted on the Deposit. The estimated expenditure on 
activities directly related to, or at the site of. the Deposit during Phase I will be 
approximately U.S. $22,000,000 to U.S. $30,000,000. Subsequent evaluations of 
the Deposit will be conducted to define technical details necessary for mining. 

1 The signature was duly notarized. 



The objective of this Phase (which may commence during Phase I above) 
is to develop a detailed plan to mine the Deposit effectively. This will require 
a comprehensive fine grid survey effort to map the sea floor, to provide topo- 
graphical maps with a contour interval approaching one to ten meters, to locate 
obstructions and to determine ore distribution, concentration and assay varia- 
tions for use in developing an effective mining plan for the Deposit. The work 
will be accomplished over a three-year period during which time data will be 
acquired, reduced, analyzed and evaluated. Due to the very large areas involved, 
the detailed fine grid survey of the entire Deposit will be completed in Phase III 
(below). The survey and analysis work in Phase II will be conducted over an 
area sufficient to provide ore for about three years mining at rates of 1.35 mil- 
lion wet metric tons of manganese nodules per year. The anticipated expendi- 
ture at the site of the Deposit is U.S. $10,000,000 to U.S. $15,000,000 during the 
first three years of Phase II. 



The principal objective of this Phase is to continue the fine grid mining plan 
development, while concurrently mining successive tracts of a size blocked out as 
described in connection with Phase II. Mapping will proceed at a rate needed to 
provide mining data for at least one year's activity about three years in advance 
of the actual mining. In addition, a secondary objective of this Phase is to conduct 
broad area reconnaissance and prospecting surveys aimed at discovering addi- 
tional ore bodies for future growth and expansion. This work will be undertaken 
as a continuing activity over the whole period of exploitation and production. 

5. The survey and mine site development and evaluation program is one 
segment of an ocean mining technical development project which also includes 
the development of the mining, transportation and support, and ore processing 
segments. The technical and economic development of these elements is critically 
related to the properties of the specific deposit regarding sea floor engineering 
parameters, terrain, water depth, nodule character, distribution and assay, 
geographic location and chemical composition. The Phase I and Phase II expendi- 
tures previously referred to, do not include the costs of production mining equip- 
ment, ships, terminals, or processing plants. These latter costs are currently 
projected to exceed U.S. $120,000,000, and are scheduled to commence on com- 
pletion of Phase I. 

6. Deepsea intends to mine the Deposit at an initial rate of approximately 1.35 
million wet metric tons of manganese nodules per year, which rate may be 
expanded to as much as 4 million wet metric tons per year. The Company intends 
to process said nodules at a land-based processing plant which will yield as the 
products thereof copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese and other products. 

(Signed by) Raymond Kaufman, 1 

Vice President, Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 

Exhibit E 

Notice List 

True copies of the "Notice of Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights 
and Request for Diplomatic Protection and Protection of Investment, by Deepsea 
Ventures, Inc.", dated 14 November 1974, to which this notice list is appended as 
Exhibit E, shall be mailed by certified or registered airmail, return receipt 
requested, postage and certification or registration fee prepaid, by Deepsea 
Ventures, Inc. to each addressee listed in this Exhibit E. In addition, legal notice 
shall be published in as many of the following locations as is possible and prac- 
ticable : Washington, D.C., U.S.A. ; London, United Kingdom ; Bonn, Germany ; 
Paris, France; Moscow, U.S.S.R. ; Tokyo, Japan; Ottawa, Canada: Brussels, 
Belgium ; Caracas, Venezuela ; Monrovia, Liberia ; Singapore : New Delhi, India ; 
Canberra, Australia ; Tai Pei, Taiwan ; Gloucester Point, Virginia and Wilming- 
ton, Delaware. 

1 The signature was duly notarized. 


The Honorable Frederick B. Dent, Secretary of Commerce, Department of Com- 
merce, Fourteenth Street between Constitution Avenue and E Street, NW., 
Washington, D.C. 20230. 

The Honorable James R. Sch^singer, Secretary of Defense, Department of De- 
fense, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301. 

The Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton, Secretary of Interior, Department of In- 
terior, C Street between 18th and 19th Streets, NW., Washington, D.C. 20240 

The Honorable William E. Simon, Secretary of the Treasury, Department of the 
Treasury, Fifteenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C. 

The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to The President for National Se- 
curity Affairs, National Security Council, Executive Office Building, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20506. 

The Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, c/o Senator Henry M. 
Jackson, Chairman, Room 137, Old Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 

The Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Subcommittee on Minerals, 
Materials, and Fuels, c/o Senator Lee Metcalf, Chairman, Room 427, Old Senate 
Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. 

The House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, c/o Representative 
Leonor K. Sullivan, Chairman, Room 2221, Rayburn House Office Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20515. 

The House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Subcommittee on 
Oceanography, c/o Representative Thomas N. Downing, Chairman, Room 2135, 
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20151. 

The Honorable H. Guyford Stever, Director, National Science Foundation, 1800 
G Street NW., Washington, D.C. 20550. 

The Honorable Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of the United Nations, the 
United Nations, New York 10017. 

Dr. Maurice Rattray, Head, Department of Oceanography, University of Wash- 
ington, Seattle, Wash. 98195. 

Dr. John P. Craven, Dean of Marine Programs, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 

Dr. W. A. Nierenberg, Dean and Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 
P.O. Box 109, La Jolla, Calif. 92037. 

Mr. Manik Talwani (Interim Director), Department of Geology, Lamont Doherty 
Geological Observatory, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027. 

Dr. Paul M. Fye, President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, 
Woods Hole, Mass. 02543. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Australia, 1601 Massachusetts Avenue, 
Washington, D.C. 20036. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, Washington, 
D.C. 20008. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Bulgaria, 2100 Sixteenth Street, Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20009. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Canada, 1746 Massachusetts Avenue, Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20036. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Czechoslovakia, 3900 Linnean Avenue, 
Washington, D.C. 20008. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of France, 2535 Belmont Road, Washington, 
D.C. 20008. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, 4645 Reser- 
voir Road, Washington, D.C. 20007. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Great Britain, 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, 
Washington, D.C. 20008. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Hungary, 2437 15th Street, Washington, 
D.C. 20009. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Japan, 2520 Massachusetts Avenue, Wash- 
ineton. D.C. 20008. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Poland, 2640 16th Street, Washington, D.C. 

Office of the Ambassador, Embassy of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1125 
16th Street, Washington, D.C. 20036. 

Tenneco Ocean Metals Development Corp., c/o Tenneco Corp., P.O. Box 2511, 
Houston, Tex. 77001. Attention: Mr. S. Askin, President. 


Japan Manganese Nodule Development Co., Ltd., c/o Nichimen Co., Ltd., Nat- 
ural Resources Development Division, 11-1, Nibhonbashi, 3-chome, Chuo-ku, 

Tokyo, Japan 103. Attention : Mr. S. Hiraoka, Executive Vice President (JAM). 
Japan Cotton Co. (Nichimen Co., Ltd.), P.O. Box 1247, Dallas Tex. 75221. Atten- 

ton : Mr. H. Nakahara, President. 
C. Itoh & Co., Ltd., Mineral Resources Development Department, 4, 2-chome, Hon- 

cho, Nibonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. 
Kanematsu-Gosho, Ltd., Non-Ferrous Metals Department, 5, Takara-cho 2-chome, 

Chuo-ku Tokyo, Japan. 
Union Mines, Inc., c/o Union Miniere, Department Investissements, Rue de la 

Chancellerie 1, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium. 
E. H. Tuck, Esq., Sherman & Sterling, 53 Wall Street, New York, N.Y. 10005. 
Essex Iron Co., Room 2786, 600 Grant Street Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230. Attention 

Mr. Phillips Hawkins, President. 
Amax, Inc., 1270 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. Attention Mr 

D. J. Donahue, President. 
American Smelting & Refining Co., 120 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10005. Atten- 
tion Mr. R. L. Hennebach, President. 
Arbeitsgembinschaft Meerestechnisch Gewinnbare Rohstof, D-300 Hannover 1, 

Postfach 4827, Arnstrasse 1, Federal Republic of Germany. 
The Broken Hill Proprietary Corp., Ltd., Central Research Laboratories, short- 
land, N.S.W. 2307, Australia. Attention: Dr. J. B. Lean, Research Manager. 
Cnexo (Centre National Pour L'Exploration des Oceans), Centre Oceanologique 

de Bretagne, B.P. 337, Brest 29N., France. Attention: Mr. Charles Christian 

Consolidated Gold Fields Ltd., 49 Moorgate, London EC2R 6BQ, England. At- 
tention : Mr. J. D. McCall, Chairman. 
Demag AG, 41 Duisburg, Wolfgang-Reuter-Platz, Federal Republic of Germany, 

Attention : Dr. H. G. Sohl, Chairman. 
Deep Ocean Mining Association, c/o Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., 5-11-3, 

Shinbashi, Minatoku, Tokyo, 105, Japan. Attention: Mr. Kenjiro Kawakami, 

Deep Ocean Mining Association, c/o Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., 5-11-3, 

Shinbashi, Minatoku, Tokyo, 105, Japan. Attention: Mr. Sho Takano, 

Dome Mines, Ltd., 360 Ray St., Suite 702, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Attention : 

Mr. J. B. Redpath, President. 
Ethyl Corp., 330 South Fourth Street, Richmond, Va. 23219. Attention : Mr. B. C. 

Gottwald, President. 
General Crude Oil Co., Box 2252, Houston, Tex. 77001. Attention: Mr. D. E. 

Montague, President. 
Global Marine, Inc., Global Marine House, 811 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles, 

Calif. 90017. Attention : Mr. R. F. Bauer, Chairman of the Board. 
International Nickel Co. of Canada, Ltd., Toronto-Dominion Centre, King and Bay 

Streets, Ontario, Canada. Attention : Mr. J. E. Carter, President. 
Kennecott Copper Corp., 161 East 42d Street, New York, N.Y. 10017. Attention : 

Mr. F. R. Milliken, President. 
Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. 94088, Attention : Mr. 

Stanley W. Burriss, President. 
Marubeni, 3-3, Hommachi, Higashiku, Osaka 541, Japan. Attention : Mr. Hiro 

Hiyama, President. 
Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Gmbh., 8012 Ottobrunn Bei Munchen, Federal Re- 
public of Germany. Attention : Office of the Chairman. 
Metallgesellschaf t Aktiengesellschaf t, D-6000 Frankfurt 1, P. O. Box 3724, Reuter- 

weg 2-32, Federal Republic of Germany. Attention : M. H. Ley, Chairman. 
Mitsubishi Corp., 2-6-3, Marunouchi, Chiyodaku, Tokyo 100, Japan. Attention: 

Chujiro Fujino, President. 
Mitsui & Co., 1-2-9, Nishi-Shinbashi, Minatoku, Tokyo 105. Attention : Mr. Yoshizo 

Ikeda, President. 
NL Industries, Inc. (formerly National Lead), 111 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 

10006. Attention : Mr. R. C. Adam, President. 
Noranda Mines, Ltd., Bank of Nova Scotia Building., 44 King Street West, 

Toronto 1, Canada. Attention : Mr. A. Powis, President. 
Rheinische Braunkohlenwerke Aktiengesellschaft, D-5000 Koln 1, P.O. Box 10 16 

66, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 55, Federal Republic of Germany. Attention : Office 

of the Chairman. 


Rio Tinto-Zinc Corp. Ltd., 6 St. James' Square, London SW1Y 4LD, England. 
Attention : Sir J.N.V. Duncan OBE, Chairman. 

Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft, D-3320 Salzgitter 41, P.O. Box 41 11 29, Federal 
Republic of Germany. Attention : Office of the Chairman. 

Summa Corp., Ocean Mining Division, P.O. Box 99006, Houston, Tex. 77011. 
Attention : Mr. P. G. Reeve, General Manager. 

Sumitomo Ocean Development & Engineering Co., Ltd., 2-2, 1-chome, Hitosubashi, 
Chiyoda-ku, Toyko, Japan. Attention : Mr. J. Tamura, Managing Director. 

Sumitomo Shoji Kaisha, Ltd., 5-15, Kitahama, Higashiku, Osaka 541, Japan. 
Attention : Yukio Shibayama, President. 

Superior Oil Co., First City National Bank Building, Houston, Tex. 77002. At- 
tention : Mr. H. B. Keck, President. 

Teck Corp., Ltd., Suite 4900 (P.O. Box 49), Toronto-Dominion Centre, Toronto 
1, Ontario, Canada. Attention : Mr. N. B. Keevil, President. 

August Thyssen-Hutte AG, 41 Duisburg-Homborn, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 100, 
Postfach 67, Federal Republic of Germany. Attention: Dr. D. Spethmann, 

Occidental Minerals Corp., 6073 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, Colo. 80033. At- 
tention : Mr. P. A. Bailly, President. 

Ocean Resources, Inc., P.O. Box 2244, La Jolla, Calif. 92037. Attention : Dr. John 
Mero, President. 

Placer Development Ltd., 1030 West Georgia Street, Vancouver 5, B.C., Canada. 
Attention : Mr. T. H. McClelland, President. 

Phelps Dodge Corp., 300 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022. Attention : Mr. G. 
B. Munroe, President. 

Preussag Aktiengesellschaft, D-300 Hannover 1, P.O. Box 4829, Leibnizufer 9, 
Federal Republic of Germany. Attention : Mr. G. Sassmannshausen, Chair- 

Utah International, Inc., 550 California Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94104. At- 
tention : Mr. A. M. Wilson, President. 

Appendix F 

U.S. Department of State : Statement on Claim of Exclusive Mining 
Rights by Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 


3 1262 05187 7511 

Statement on Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights by Deepsea Ventures, Inc. 1 

The Department of State received on November 15, 1974, a letter from Mr. 
John E. Flipse, President of Deepsea Ventures, Inc., described as a "Notice of 
Discovery and Claim of Exclusive Mining Rights and Request for Diplomatic 
Protection and Protection of Investment, by Deepsea Ventures, Inc." This claim 
identifies an area in the eastern Pacific Ocean that is beyond the national jurisdic- 
tion of any state and asserts that Deepsea Ventures, Inc. "has discovered and 
taken possession of, and is now engaged in developing and evaluating, as the 
first stages of mining a deposit of seabed manganese nodules." Deepsea Ventures 
asserts the exclusive rights to develop, evaluate and mine the deposit and to 
take, use and sell all of the manganese nodules in, and the minerals and metals 
derived therefrom. 

The Department of State does not grant or recognize exclusive mining rights 
to the mineral resources of an area of the seabed beyond the limits of national 

The appropriate means for the development of the law of the sea is the Third 
United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea and not unilateral claims. The 
United States supports the achievement of a widely acceptable and comprehensive 
law of the sea treaty in 1975 that would include a regime and machinery for the 
exploration for and exploitation of the mineral resources of the deep seabed 
beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. 

The position of the United States Government on deep ocean mining pend- 
ing the outcome of the Law of the Sea Conference is that the mining of the 
seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction may proceed as a freedom of the 
high seas under existing international law. 

1 Statement made available by the U.S. Department of State. Reproduced from tbe text 
provided by the U.S. Department of State. This statement was made available following 
the tiling of the Notice with the U.S. Secretary of State, as a guidance paper for response 
to press inquiries.